Nearly two years after northern Hays County voters approved an Austin Community College annexation, work is ready to begin on a new campus in Kyle.
On Wednesday, ground was officially broken for the nearly 90,000 square foot full-service ACC campus in Hays County. Kyle city leaders say they hope it will bring jobs to the community.
“It's quality education,” Mayor Lucy Johnson said. “It's going to mean a world of difference for everybody in Kyle who's looking for a new career or just a better life for themselves."
Lauren Lumague just finished her junior year at Lehman High School, but that isn't stopping her from getting a head start on her college education.
"I'm taking a dual credit summer class, government to be exact. I was able to get my high school credit as well as my college credit so I don't have to take it during my school year," Lumague said.
Eventually the site could offer programs for first responders and emergency medical services, but for now the first phase of ACC Hays will focus on core curriculum.
"Students will be able to take their core classes, earn an Associate’s Degree and then transfer," ACC President and CEO Richard Rhodes said.
Lumague says the new campus will make the ACC experience even easier.
"It will save me a whole semester. I can get the education in one month instead of a whole semester and I can just do it in high school," the high school junior said. "You don't have to go all the way to Austin to register and it makes it convenient."
The construction of the campus had been delayed by a lawsuit involving the election process. The Texas Supreme Court ruled in favor of ACC earlier this year.
ACC’s Hays County campus is expected to open in 2014.