Officials at the ground breaking for the Austin Community College Hays Campus on June 27 promised Hays residents the chance to "Start Here, Get There." The 10th fully serviced campus for ACC, the Hays location is scheduled to open its doors in spring 2014.
Barbara Mink, a board of trustees chairwoman for the ACC District, spoke of the November 2010 date when Buda and Kyle residents voted to allow the annexation of Hays CISD into the ACC district. The annexation also made Hays CISD residents eligible for in-district tuition at all ACC campuses from the day of approval.
"This is truly an historic time," Mink said, adding that ACC has 45,000 students currently enrolled. "[It's] a significant investment not only in your community, but in your economic and continued economic prosperity in this region."
Richard Rhodes, president and CEO of the ACC District, commented not only on what the new campus will feature, but also on the significance of it for the community and its students.
"The most important thing is not the facility itself, but what happens within that facility," Rhodes said. "You're going to have the opportunity to have a close state-of-the-art facility with a full menu of college support services to make students successful in achieving their dreams."
The Hays campus will offer a core curriculum along with traditional career education tracks that include child development and business programs. ACC plans to offer technical training programs through expanded local partnerships that are specific to the Hays County community and economy.
Ray Hernandez, executive director of the Kyle Area Chamber of Commerce, said the campus will have a positive effect on the area's economy.
"The addition of this campus will be an economic driver in attracting quality companies, jobs and amenities to support the needs of the continually increasing population of our community," he said.
ACC's Hays Campus is in Kyle near the intersection of Kyle Parkway and Kohler's Crossing on 96 acres. The first phase of the facility will accommodate a maximum of 2,000 students, with future phases planned to increase enrollment and types of programs offered.
"On behalf of ACC, I say thank you for giving us this chance and for recognizing the value of higher education by placing this campus in your community," Rhodes said.