Construction updates at Highland and Rio Grande: May/June 2020

Rio Grande Campus new atrium roof system
Rio Grande Campus Level 2 double height space, side view
Rio Grande Campus Level 3 Faculty suite
Rio Grande Campus Level 2 Biology Lab
Rio Grande Campus Level 0 lower atrium
Rio Grande Campus Large classroom looking into atrium
Highland Campus Phase 2 directory signage
Highland Campus Phase 2 school-to-business incubator
Highland Campus Phase 2 music rehearsal hall
Highland Campus Phase 2 drama black box theatre
Highland Campus Phase 2 health sciences simulation skills lab
Highland Campus Phase 2 dance studio

The Highland Campus South Parking Garage hit another milestone this summer. Construction crews added the college's name to the external-facing wall, which is visible from Interstate 35, Highway 290, and areas to the east and southeast of the campus.

Below are updates on the final 2014 ACC bond construction projects.

By Paul Mason, Rio Grande Renovations Project Manager

Overall, construction is about 85 percent complete.

Laboratory casework installation is nearly complete in the science labs on Levels 1-3. All interior walls on Levels 0 and 1 have been constructed, which includes being taped, floated, textured, and primed. A finish coat of paint has been applied in most locations. On Levels 2 and 3, the walls are all taped and floated and ready for paint. Interior door frames are mostly installed on all levels. Ceiling grid installation is nearly complete on Levels 0 to 2 and partially complete on Level 3. All audiovisual cabling is being roughed-in in classrooms and labs. Rough-in of electrical and data cabling in the walls is complete on Levels 0 and 1 and nearly complete on Levels 2 and 3. Most light fixtures have been set into the ceiling grids on Levels 0 and 1.

We expect Austin Energy to power up the new transformers in the nearby vault, thereby establishing permanent power by the end of July. Next week, all major HVAC equipment will be started up and the main electrical panels will be hot. The commissioning of all mechanical and electrical systems will be the focus of efforts from August through November.

On the exterior of the building, the parge coat on the base of the building is complete. A parge coat is a coat of cementitious stucco-like material applied onto existing concrete in poor condition. Because the existing structure was in such poor condition, we have to add this cosmetic layer of material to make the building appear more aesthetically pleasing. Rough grading to prep the new outdoor landscaped courtyards is ongoing. The north parking lot is under construction. New concrete curbs are being formed, new light pole bases are being set, and the new shade cover of the handicapped spaces is also going in.

By Pamela Collier, ACC Highland Phase 2 Project Manager

The exterior walkways, seating walls, and landscaping are complete on the west and are underway on the east side. The exterior building finishes are being completed and exterior furnishings are forthcoming.

The majority of the interior spaces are complete or nearly complete with the exception being the larger performance and production spaces that have a multitude of infrastructure and acoustic components and specialty finishes. Touch-ups and final cleaning efforts are on-going. Furniture installation is nearing completion throughout the building. Equipment installation has begun in the health sciences simulation area. Commissioning and systems testing is on-going.

HLC2 will open for Spring Semester 2021.