Austin Community College is breaking ground today at a vacant JCPenney store in Highland Mall. The store will be converted into a learning environment for ACC.
"This is a really big day for ACC as well as the surrounding neighborhood and in fact all of the communities that we serve," ACC spokesperson Alexis Patterson said. "It’s great for the area. It brings new life, new people coming to the mall. And the mall’s still in operation, so we’re excited about the boost this is going to give to the mall as a whole.”
The 200 thousand square foot space will mainly be used as a mathematics laboratory – ACC says the space will be the largest math emporium in the country, with capacity for some 600 students. The former store will also contain a library and student union. It’s scheduled to be complete in the fall of 2014.
The groundbreaking celebration is from 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. outside the former JCPenney building along Airport Boulevard.
ACC now has complete ownership of Highland Mall. The community college began acquiring property at the mall in 2010.
The shops remaining in the mall will continue operation for the immediate future. ACC says they’ll work with tenants as plans develop.