First look: A glimpse at Highland Mall's $46M transformation into ACC campus

Jul 24, 2014
Austin Business Journal

The down-on-its-luck Highland Mall is no more. On Wednesday morning, Austin Community College, which purchased the distressed mall property to convert it into a new campus, gave a limited tour of the property and what it looks like near the completion of its $46 million renovation

The photos in the slideshow with this story speak for themselves and illustrate how the formerly drab ‘70s-era building has been transformed with more open natural lighting, sharp architectural design by Barnes Gromatsky Kosarek Architects and wood accents throughout

What the new campus does is put ACC and its student body in a position to meet the demands of the 21 st century marketplace, particularly in health care and IT fields

Want an example of how much intellectual firepower will be coursing through the place? The Highland property’s math accelerator area is bigger than a football field and features 604 workstations. It’s a jaw-dropping space when you consider that more than 800 tech-savvy future professionals will be working there during peak hours, and it’s just one of many resource-heavy areas on the campus

That type of focus on tech jobs, and the educated interns ACC will provide, likely helped lure Rackspace Inc. to do a deal to move its Austin workforce to the former Dillard’s building. More partnerships with big business names are expected in the near future

Barnes Gromatzky Kosarek Architects Inc. designed ACC's portion of the revamped Highland Mall, and Flintco LLC is the general contractor

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