Round Rock ISD’s Early College High School is one step closer to realization on the Austin Community College’s Round Rock campus.

What’s happening

District officials on Sept. 21 approved agreements with ACC, including a ground lease for 2.2 acres on campus, and the use of 2018 bond funds for the design and construction of a campus to house the high school that is currently located in multiple portable classrooms on the property. This will be the first phase of the campus.

The district will lease the property from ACC for 50 years, with a price tag of $6 million to be paid over a 20-year period at a 4% annual interest rate, RRISD's Chief Financial Officer Dennis Covington said.

The design and permitting process for the school is expected to take six to nine months, officials said, with construction expected to last for 16 months.

The backstory

In 2018, voters who live in the district passed a $508.4 million bond, with $275.4 million designated for projects to address growth, including the new high school campus to hold 500 students. The district budgeted $15 million of this for the ECHS. However, officials said due to multiple factors the new estimated cost to construct the campus has more than doubled to $33,928,329. District officials approved the additional funds, reallocated from the remainders of contingencies returned upon completion of other projects in the bond.

Some costs will be reduced by capitalizing on resources available through ACC, RRISD Superintendent Hafedh Azaiez said, such as utilizing existing parking lots and tapping into their existing utility infrastructure.