ACC Hays on pace for 2014 opening

College's first campus in county to have 2,000-student capacity

Less than a year from now, Austin Community College officials expect students to be roaming the halls and attending classes at the first ACC campus in Hays County.

The college broke ground on the Kyle campus in June, and construction of the three-story building is on time and under budget, according to Bill Mullane, ACC's executive director of facilities and construction.

Mullane said officials are planning for an enrollment of about 1,500 in the inaugural spring 2014 semester.

"We're really eager to have a presence in Kyle and really think this is a great location for us to serve both Kyle and Buda, and all of northern Hays County," Mullane said. "We expect to attract students out of southern Travis County and the rest of Hays County to that campus as well."

The campus was designed for a maximum enrollment of 2,000 students, although future development of the 96-acre site could allow for an enrollment of 10,000–12,000, he added. For now, Mullane said there are no specific plans for expansion.

"We'll wait and see what the demand is and how much money is available," he said. "We expect enrollment to grow pretty quickly at this location, so [expansion is] probably not going to be that far down the road."

Voters in the Kyle/Buda area approved joining the ACC taxing district in November 2010, but construction was delayed when a Kyle dentist sued ACC, claiming the election was invalid because the college had not adequately informed voters of the potential tax impact. The legal battle ended in January 2012 when the Texas Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

Since beginning construction, crews have laid the foundation, erected most of the steel beams and poured some elevated concrete, among other improvements.

"You can get a sense, at least, of the bones of [the building] at the moment," Mullane said. "The final structural steel will be in place at the end of March."

Plans for the campus include advising and counseling services, a financial aid office, learning lab with free tutoring, online and on-site library services, science labs, computer labs, testing center, a student commons area and bookstore.

Get to know the ACC Hays campus

  • Land size: 96 acres
  • Building size: 88,300 square feet (three stories)
  • Groundbreaking: June 2012
  • Planned opening: Spring 2014 semester
  • Expected enrollment: 1,500 students
  • Capacity in 2014: 2,000 students
  • Cost: $45 million
  • ACC property tax rate: 9.51 cents per $100 value

Kohler's Crossing Road at FM 1626, Kyle, 512-223-4222,