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Wed Jul 30, 2014, 05:54 PM

How Austin Turned a Dead Department Store Into a Community College


At ACC's new campus, workers cut a 170-foot-long skylight in what was once a J.C. Penney department store. Natural light formerly came through only two front doors.
Audrey McGlinchy/KUT


To Veronica Escobedo, it resembled a fancy hotel – not quite a college campus.

But the first-year radiology student said the stylish and comfortable furniture, much of it still wrapped in plastic, would encourage her to stay on Austin Community College’s new campus between classes.

“There are bigger areas to actually study with people,” Escobedo said. “Most of the time I found myself studying with people off campus. The design and architecture make it really feel like a home.”

Wednesday, ACC led students through the college’s new Highland campus, covering 200,000 square feet once occupied by a J.C. Penney. After purchasing vacant parcels of the Highland Mall, the college acquired all of the mall space in 2012.

More at http://kut.org/post/how-austin-turned-dead-department-store-community-college .

[font color=green]The campus is located near one of the stops for Austin Metro train line.[/font]

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Reply How Austin Turned a Dead Department Store Into a Community College (Original post)
TexasTowelie Jul 2014 OP
think Jul 2014 #1
TexasTowelie Jul 2014 #2
tanyev Jul 2014 #3
kentauros Jul 2014 #4
Javaman Jul 2014 #5

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Jul 30, 2014, 06:26 PM

1. Brilliant use of a dead shopping mall.

 

With so many shopping malls going to mothballs hopefully this community college can be a success so that it might encourage other cities to do something similar with their empty malls.

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Response to think (Reply #1)

Wed Jul 30, 2014, 06:40 PM

2. Austin Community College already has over 43,000 credit students.

The building is located near the center of Austin and has a large amount of parking space. I used to live within about a half-mile of that location and still use the food courts there since it is a short walk from the Greyhound station.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Jul 30, 2014, 06:52 PM

3. Aw. I used to go shopping at Highland Mall all the time.

At least it's being put to good use.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Jul 30, 2014, 11:32 PM

4. HCC did that here with an old electronics retailer building.

Mars Electronics, or something like that. They went away faster than CompUSA!

As these huge former stores disappear, I hope more community colleges buy them up and convert into schools. I'd think such places would also be perfect as tele-work satellite offices

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Thu Jul 31, 2014, 09:57 AM

5. I buddy of mine helped on the arch design.

Great work.

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