ACC’s board of trustees declared that the property, which sits adjacent to a 46-acre portion of the Pinnacle campus—which the college also owns—as “surplus” on April 1, thus authorizing President Richard Rhodes to receive and review bids on the property.
According to district documents, bids were received “from multiple parties," and those bids were assessed and ranked by ACC and CBRE, a commercial real estate firm ACC hired as a consultant during the process.
“We went through a bidding process; we got the bids back; we have evaluated those bids, and we are making the recommendation to the board of trustees that we reject all bids,” Rhodes said Nov. 4.
The board voted unanimously, 7-0, to accept that recommendation and reject the bids after an approximately 30-minute discussion in executive session. Trustees Stephanie Gharakanian and Nan McRaven were off the dais; according to board Chair GiGi Edwards-Bryant, Gharakanian gave birth to a daughter Oct. 27, and McRaven was “on assignment.”
The Pinnacle campus, located in Southwest Austin at 7748 Hwy. 290 W., Austin, closed after the spring semester in 2018 because according to district staff, the building, which was originally constructed in 1984 as an office complex, needed significant repairs.
In October, the district announced it would hold two community conversations in Southwest Austin. Those meetings will be held at the Oak Hill United Methodist Church on Monday, Dec. 2 from 8:30-10 a.m. and Tuesday, Dec. 3 from 6-7:30 p.m.
Brette Lea, ACC’s Vice President of communication and marketing, told trustees on Nov. 4 staff will update the public on where Pinnacle campus plans are now at those meetings, as well as the background of how ACC got to where it is today, and how the process is related to the districtwide campus master planning process ongoing throughout the community college district.
“The topics will be many. This is certainly not the only thing we’re talking about. This will be a very flexible conversation driven in part by the community,” Lea said.
Trustees Julie Ann Nitsch and Sean Hassan both commended their fellow board members for slowing down the process to hear from residents in the Southwest Austin community. Hassan said he was glad ACC staff and board members will “have a chance to hear folks before we move too quickly with next steps on the Pinnacle campus.”
Nitsch, a resident of South Austin, said she believes there is a potential opportunity for affordable housing and public housing on the site.
“I’m very excited to hear what the community has to say. Because I’m in that community, I hear a lot from them already,” Nitsch said.