By: Mike Parker / Austin Community Newspapers
Bulldozers and workers were already hard at work as officials ceremoniously turned dirt Tuesday morning for a new advanced training facility at Austin Community College’s Round Rock campus.
ACC and city officials spoke of how the new 45,000-square-foot facility will support future growth in Round Rock and Williamson County and the opportunities it will provide for a future workforce.
“We’re supporting our own future,” said Round Rock Chamber CEO Mike Odom at the groundbreaking. “These programs provided here reflect our own needs.”
The facility is part of the Round Rock campus project’s second phase, which puts an emphasis on providing training and certifications for high-demand health care careers like nursing, sonography and surgical technology. The building is expected to increase the campus student body from 5,000 to 6,000 students.
The three-story building will provide 13 classrooms, 25 faculty offices, and simulation spaces and sonography patient bays for nursing students. The majority of the first floor includes a 12,000-square-foot ACCelerator learning lab, which is equipped with 140 computer stations used for small group sessions and individualized learning.
The new facility is expected to open by summer 2018.
In a media release, ACC President and CEO Richard Rhodes said the Round Rock campus has supported a rapidly growing Williamson County. “The expanded facilities will help ensure we continue to deliver the early, accessible opportunities for education and training the region needs and values,” he said.
Round Rock Councilman Writ Baese, who was among several speakers at the groundbreaking, said the facility is an example of the many partnerships between local governmental entities, including the city, Round Rock school district, Texas State University-Round Rock, Williamson County and the state and federal governments.
Cody Kearse, an ACC math student who spoke at the event, particularly lauded the ACCelerator learning labs, which he said promoted lifelong learning and collaboration with fellow students.
In November 2014, voters approved two bond propositions totaling $386 million. The expansion of the Round Rock campus was listed as part of the second proposition among other construction and renovations.
According to ACC, the bond costs $39 per year for homeowners with a home valued at $200,000.