Construction updates at Highland and Rio Grande: February 2020

Rio Grande Campus historic renovations - roof
Rio Grande Campus historic renovations - atrium
Rio Grande Campus historic renovations - elevator and stairs
Rio Grande Campus historic renovations
Highland Campus Phase 2 open stair area
Highland Campus Phase 2 restroom
Highland Campus Phase 2 office suite
Highland Campus Phase 2 interior finishes
Highland Campus Phase 2 common area
Southwest view of Highland Campus Phase 2 
Highland Campus Parking Garage
Members of the construction team that worked on the Highland campus Parking Garage attend a presentation during the topping out ceremony.
Group photo of members of the construction team that worked on the Highland Campus Parking Garage and members of Austin Community College. 

Rio Grande Campus Renovations
By Paul Mason, Rio Grande Renovations Project Manager

Persistent rainy, damp conditions slowed the rate of progress a bit in February, but construction continued to progress well. 

Spray foam insulation applied to exterior walls has been completed on levels 1 and 2 and continues on level 3. Drywall installation in the electrical rooms on level 0 is complete. About 80 percent of the electrical conduit and air conditioning ductwork has been run overhead on level 3 and is 95 percent complete on the lower levels. 

Construction crews are 25 percent complete with roofing the whole building. Despite the bad weather, the entire roof should be installed by the first or second week of March. Once the roof is complete and attached to the parapet walls, the building will be essentially “dried in,” which allows crews to make much more steady progress inside the building with installing drywall and finishing it in other areas of the building. 

Crews are in the process of installing the metal clad wood windows on the inward facing atrium walls in both the north and south atrium. The steel windows are being painted and new glazing is being installed window by window. The atrium steel structural frames are 100 percent installed and the suspended ceiling hangers that provide the backing for the decorative ceiling finishes are also 100 percent installed in both atriums. Construction crews are now ready to start installation of the roof pillows, which will dry-in the atriums when their new roofs are completed. This installation should take about 2 to 3 weeks, pending good weather.

The installation of roof penthouse mechanical equipment is complete. Ductwork and piping is now being installed to connect the equipment to chase ductwork, pumps, and chilled water piping. Hardie-plank siding is also now onsite and ready to be installed on the exterior penthouse walls. 

In the core of the building, the central stair is now poured with concrete and able to be accessed. On level 0, the main electrical switchgear is being installed in the main electrical room. Electrical lines are being run through pathways underground from this room over to the newly constructed Austin Energy (AE) vault at the northwest corner of the Annex in the north parking lot. The vault is complete and waiting for AE to deliver and install new transformers. This work is also pending the completion of new electrical lines being buried in trenches cut into 13½ Street, which is work being performed by a separate AE subcontractor. These lines will connect the primary AE electrical cabling under Rio Grande Street that serves the whole area to the vault to help establish permanent power for the building. This work will take another 2 or so weeks to complete and the building is expected to have permanent power around April 1.

Highland Campus 2014 Bond Phase 2
By Pamela Collier, ACC Highland Phase 2 Project Manager

Interior finishes and specialties are being installed and drywall finishing is ongoing. Overhead acoustical panel installation is ongoing. Cabinetry and built-in desks continue to be installed. Culinary equipment is being installed. Signage installation has begun. Restroom accessory installation is about to begin. Tile work, carpet, and other flooring activities are ongoing. Decorative metal railing posts have been installed at the open stairs and perforated panels will be installed in March. Glass railing at floor openings is complete. Three of the five elevators are complete. Cable tray installation, wire pulling, and pipe insulation are nearly complete.

Exterior metal panel activities are ongoing on the upper paseo. Paseo waterproofing is nearly complete and elevated concrete topping slab will be poured soon afterward. Sitework is currently ongoing in the paseo and on the west side. Sidewalks are being installed. Landscaping and finishes to begin shortly.

Highland Campus South Parking Garage
The following details were shared by Austin Day, SpawGlass superintendent, at the ACC Highland Parking Garage topping out ceremony. As of February 19, the Highland Campus Parking Garage project is on time and in budget and has taken 250,000 man hours. Day also shared the following facts about the project:

  • 2,000 trucks have hauled off debris, with a peak of over 300 trucks per day
  • 4,800,000 pounds (2,400 tons) of rebar have been installed
  • 1,700,000 linear feet (321.97 miles) of post-tension cables have been installed, which is enough to run from Austin to Dallas and back
  • 32,000 cubic yards of concrete material have been installed, which took a minimum of 3,555 trucks to bring
  • 300,000 linear feet of electrical conduit have been installed, equivalent to 1,000 football fields