Austin Community College: There’s 'excitement' for a new Pinnacle campus

ACC’s Pinnacle Campus has been closed since 2018. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
ACC’s Pinnacle Campus has been closed since 2018. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)

ACC’s Pinnacle Campus has been closed since 2018. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)

In May 2018, Austin Community College closed its Pinnacle campus. Located within a 10-story, 108,000-square-foot office building, the facility had offered the Southwest Austin area access to ACC classes and resources since it was purchased by the district in 1990.

Although the district had explored options to sell part of the property in 2019, trustees ultimately rejected bids for the office building in November of that year.

ACC trustees on Nov. 16 received an update on the development of a new districtwide campus master plan, which outlines what the district could explore for the Pinnacle site in the future. The master plan is being updated by Pfluger Architects with the feedback of the district’s regional advisory committees.

“It’s been closed for a number of years now because of the facility's condition,” said Rich DePalma, the co-chair of ACC's South Regional Advisory Committee. “There is, I will say, excitement within the community to make sure that a campus exists there yet again.”

DePalma said the advisory committee would like a new Pinnacle campus to be designed with a regional approach that would serve Southwest Austin and Hill Country communities. In terms of academic offerings, Pinnacle could reopen with a focus on local industries including hospitality, winegrowing, agriculture and nursing, he said.


The updated master plan does not yet outline specific designs or a timeline for implementation, and renovating or reconstructing a campus on the Pinnacle site would require a future bond for financing.

Located on top of the Trinity Aquifer, redevelopment of the almost 50-acre property would also require environmental considerations, DePalma said during the Nov. 16 presentation.

“There’s some concern within the committee members and the community of making sure when we redevelop it, we're doing it right,” he said. “We're paying attention to the environmental impact that may take place because of the impervious cover issues and sensitivity around the aquifer as well as [vehicle] traffic.”

Once planning is underway, he said ACC could begin conversations with Dripping Springs ISD—which is located west of the campus—about joining the district in the future.

According to the presentation, the campus master plan lists other goals for ACC’s southern region as well, including establishing an ACC accelerator program and a fire academy in the area. The master plan also lists a goal to establish a health sciences program at ACC’s Hays campus.
By Nicholas Cicale
Nick has been with Community Impact Newspaper since 2016, working with the Lake Travis-Westlake and Southwest Austin-Dripping Springs editions. He previously worked as a reporter in Minnesota and earned a degree from Florida State University.


MOST RECENT

Founders Day 2019 included a live wedding to honor Dripping Springs as the wedding capital of Texas. (Courtesy Al Gawlick Photography)
Drippings Springs cancels Founders Day festival for the second year in a row

Traditionally, Founders Day celebrates the 1850 founding of Dripping Springs.

Save Austin Now wants to overturn a city policy that allows public camping. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Aiming to reinstate camping ban, group guarantees it has enough signatures to put controversial policy on ballot

If validated, the controversial decision to lift the public camping ban could be up to voters in May.

The Austin-based eatery's menu is inspired by Nashville hot chicken; offerings include chicken bites, jumbo tenders, chicken sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and homemade pies. (Courtesy Tumble 22)
Nashville-style hot chicken restaurant coming to Round Rock and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from Central Texas.

Screen shot of a web meeting
COVID-19 rates in Travis County starting to improve, but vaccine distribution remains complicated

Austin Public Health and other local distributors still lack enough supply to provide all qualified residents with an initial dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

The 87th Texas Legislature convened Jan. 12. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
State bills target Austin’s police cuts, forced closure of businesses during pandemic

Legislative bills are still being drafted, but even in the session's very beginning, a handful of proposals have drawn the attention of local officials.

A new bus platform at Dean Keeton Street and Guadalupe Street allows Capital Metro buses to pick up and drop off passengers without pulling out of traffic. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin transportation news: A new bus stop on the Drag, a barge on Lady Bird Lake and tolls on US 183

The barge is taking soil samples as part of the environmental review process for the forthcoming Blue Line, and the bus stop is part of a six-month pilot program.

Feeding Texas hosted a Jan. 19 webinar to discuss legislative highlights for the 87th Texas Legislature. (Screenshot courtesy Feeding Texas)
Food insecurity in Texas' 87th Legislature: Hunger relief organization Feeding Texas to propose legislation addressing hunger

Hunger relief organization Feeding Texas hosted a webinar Jan. 19 to discuss increasing funding and accessibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the 87th legislative session.

Corgan Architects presented potential schematic designs for the district's fifth elementary school last year. (Courtesy Dripping Springs ISD)
Dripping Springs ISD prepares to vote for name, principal of new elementary school

The DSISD board of trustees will vote on Jan. 25. The top name in contention is "Cypress Springs Elementary."

Tesla will continue construction of its southeast Travis County manufacturing plant through 2021. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Story to watch in 2021: Tesla’s gigafactory set for completion by year’s end

Tesla is already hiring a number of manufacturing positions for the factory as well as engineers.

Abby Jane Bakeshop held a soft opening Jan. 16-17 in Dripping Springs. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
From pastries to pizza, Abby Jane Bakeshop bringing treats to Dripping Springs

The new bakeshop is set to open Jan. 21 off Fitzhugh Road.

COVID-19 vaccines
DATA: Texas has vaccinated about 9% of estimated Phase 1 recipients

Over 1.1 million individuals from the Phase 1 population, which is estimated to include 13.5 million individuals total, have received at least one dose.

Bob Popinski, policy director of Raise Your Hand Texas, shared the organization's top education priorities for the ongoing legislative session. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
‘What does virtual learning and remote learning look like moving forward?': Raise Your Hand Texas policy director talks legislative priorities

Bob Popinski is the director of policy for Raise Your Hand Texas, an Austin-based organization committed to improving public education. He spoke with Community Impact Newspaper in late December about the 87th legislative session, which began Jan. 12.