ACC district planning November bond vote
Renovation and expansion may carry price tag of $400 million or more. Officials plan to establish panel to gather community input to identify needs.
Voters in the Austin Community College taxing district are expected to decide in November whether to authorize bonds for renovation and expansion projects at the college’s growing network of campuses.
ACC trustees voted unanimously Monday evening to work toward a November bond election. They are expected to formally call the election in August.
Officials have not decided how much bonding authority to seek from voters, said Alexis Patterson, an ACC spokeswoman. Scenarios ranging from $400 million to $600 million in documents reviewed by the Board of Trustees were “purely for discussion purposes,” Patterson said.
Those scenarios showed the college’s tax rate — currently 9.51 cents per $100 of property value, counting both the debt component and the operations component — rising to as much as 12.5 cents, 31 percent, by 2018, assuming a $600 million bond issue.
The owner of an average-value home in ACC’s taxing district currently pays $214 a year in college taxes. Future tax bills would depend on property values, the amount of any bond issue and changes to the operations component of the property tax.
ACC’s taxing district encompasses the city of Austin as well as the Austin, Leander, Hays, Elgin, Round Rock, Del Valle and Manor school districts.
The college last put a bond issue before voters in 2003. That $99 million proposal passed with 57 percent of the vote.
ACC officials plan to establish an advisory panel that will work with campus advisory committees to gather community input to identify capital improvement needs and rank their priority.
With 40,198 students this fall, according to preliminary figures, the college is at capacity, Patterson said.
Possible projects for a bond package include expansion of recently built campuses at Round Rock, Elgin and Kyle. Other campuses, such as Rio Grande and Riverside, could be in line for renovations, she said. The former Highland Mall property is also expected to be included for development into classroom, office and conference spaces.
In other action Monday evening, the Board of Trustees elected new officers: Jeffrey Richard as chairman, Victor Villarreal as vice chairman and Guadalupe Sosa as secretary. Betty Hwang was sworn in as the newest member of the board.
The ramp connecting US 290 West to MoPac (Loop 1) South will open Wednesday morning after delays and a change of contractors. The opening completes the project that included a ramp connecting the northbound MoPac to eastbound US 290, which opened earlier this fall.