See a slideshow of images from the event at the bottom of this posting.
In November 2011, stormy skies forced the groundbreaking for the Austin Community College Elgin Campus to move indoors. But it was all sunshine for the celebration marking the campus’s grand opening on August 29.
Hundreds of people from the community and college gathered to dedicate the college’s ninth full service campus and the first college campus in Bastrop County. Guests toured the 65,000-square-foot campus, enjoyed entertainment from the Elgin High School marching band and cheerleaders, and heard from special speakers about the impact of the new campus on the future of ACC and Elgin.
“I believe this campus will be a focal point for growth and improvement for all of our citizens,” said Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape. “I encourage all of Bastrop County to contribute to its success – to boost it up, to talk it up, to participate in it and to take advantage of the classes offered here.”
ACC is launching two new programs at Elgin Campus – Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneurship, which begins this fall, and Veterinary Technician, expected to begin in the spring following approval from the college’s accrediting commission. Those programs provide an opportunity for ACC to develop a strong partnership with Texas A&M University, according to John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M University System.
“We’re very proud to partner with ACC on these programs,” Sharp said. “ACC is an outstanding organization, and we at Texas A&M want to be a part of it as much as we can. I look forward to everything the future holds for our two schools.”
In addition to career training programs, Elgin Campus offers transferable general education classes and student support services.
“The opening of this campus is a proud moment for ACC and the Elgin community,” said Jeffrey Richard, board chair. “We wouldn’t be here without the support of the people who live here.”
“This campus gives students a new pathway to higher education – not just in Elgin, but all throughout Bastrop County and the surrounding areas,” said Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president/CEO. “Students will find a campus that really reflects their community.”
Student Estrellita Carlos, an Elgin resident and mother of three boys, said the new campus shows that a college education is attainable.
“I’m really proud to be an ACC student,” said Carlos, who will soon apply to the college’s nursing program. “It has been challenging at times, but with ACC’s flexible class schedules and with the help of my advisors and professors, I’ve been able to attend college.”
It’s not just improving individual lives – the campus provides an opportunity for regional growth and development, said State Senator Kirk Watson.
“Economic prosperity is going to be here, and it’s going to be here in large part as a result of this facility and what’s going to happen as a result of this facility,” Sen. Watson said.
David Glass, a local businessman who helped lead the push for Elgin ISD to become part of the ACC District, agrees.
“I think this is where we will begin to grow and prosper our community,” he said. “This will be the beacon, the guiding light that we have going forward from here.”
Elgin Campus classes began this fall. For more information on the campus, visit austincc.edu/elgin.
posted in: ACC Newsroom, Banner Stories, Current Students Feature, Elgin Campus Updates, Faculty and Staff Feature