Seeing inside Highland Building 2000: Departments moving in check out new digs

Faculty and Staff tour HLC Building 2000

Construction paused and the dust settled a bit as Austin Community College (ACC) faculty and staff took their first steps inside the newest phase of ACC Highland. Six months remain until doors open at Building 2000. The new campus features specialized facilities in culinary arts, creative arts, health sciences, and workforce innovation. 

Project manager, Pamela Collier, and other members of the facilities team escorted faculty from programs that are moving into the building inside the fences to tour their new space. 

“This is close to six years of work. To see it come in view instead of on paper is amazing. I am speechless. (I’m) not going to lie, I am a little choked up,” says Chef Stephanie Herrington, Culinary Arts department chair. 

“I was ecstatic. I have been here over 20 years so I have been waiting for this for a long time,” says Tim Dittmar, Music, Business, Performance & Technology department chair.

Building 2000 features: 

  • Regional Workforce Development Center with “makerspace” and equipment for advanced manufacturing.

  • STEM Regional Simulation Center for health sciences career education and training.

  • Creative Digital Media Center gallery and performing arts spaces that create synergy between the performing and fine arts and related technologies.

  • Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management Center for career education and training including a student-operated restaurant, a community travel agency, and a hotel simulation room. 

“Coming to ACC a couple of years ago as the new dean, I knew we were going to be moving into a new facility. Seeing the floor plans and now seeing it live and in action, it's a very exciting time for our faculty, our staff, and of course, their students,” says Tom Nevill, Arts and Digital Media dean.

“It's impressive. It's large. It's a beautiful space. A little nervous. We were at Northridge for a long time. We know this is a major step up for us. It's going to be quite impressive both for the public and for the students,” says Garry Gaber, Game Development, Animation & Motion Graphics department chair.

The tour began at the former Men’s Dillard’s. That space is now ready to train Health Sciences students, with rooms replicating a hospital. Across the hall, where an indoor fountain once stood, is the future home of ACC’s Professional Photography program. 

The campus also has two large studios for Radio, Television & Film and soundproof recording rooms for Music, Business, Performance & Technology. 

The Culinary Arts lab includes five kitchens and the college’s new student-run restaurant — Eatery 73. 

“It’s nothing like we’ve seen before. I need a map just to get around and find where stuff is. Having the extra space will allow us to do more. Bringing these departments together is going to be exciting,” says Mike Acosta, Student Affairs dean.

To follow along with updates on Highland Phase 2, visit

To view photos from the tour, scroll through the images below.

HLC 2000 Faculty Tours