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.


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