ACC and KLRU launch new partnership at ACC Highland

Posted on Jun 7, 2018

Austin Community College (ACC) unveils plans for the redevelopment of the former Dillard’s women’s space at Highland in partnership with KLRU-TV, Austin PBS.

The partnership will bring paid internships and enhanced job training for the college’s arts, digital media, and communications students while allowing KLRU to set up its offices and production facilities in the newly renovated building.

“ACC Highland is about renewal and building up our community. It takes innovative thinking and collaborative partnerships to bring that vision to life,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president/CEO. “What’s happening here with KLRU will expand learning and training opportunities and provide real-world experiences that benefit our students and the region. Together, we share in a vision to enrich lives.”

“ACC and KLRU share a deep, long-standing commitment to the Central Texas community,” says Bill Stotesbery, KLRU general manager. “This collaboration will benefit both organizations as we work together to launch new initiatives that leverage the power of media to positively impact Central Texas communities while creating new training opportunities for ACC students.”

The first floor of the 185,000 square-foot building will house joint facilities for ACC’s television studios including programming and production for ACC-TV and KLRU’s offices. It features two private studios and a large community soundstage. The two organizations intend to work together to expand the vision of ACC-TV, create internships for ACC students, create joint productions, and seek collaborative opportunities to address a variety of Central Texas concerns.

"This is one of those home-grown collaborations that is truly one of the transformative moments happening in our city," says Austin Mayor Steve Adler. “We're taking two of the most trusted institutions in our city, and they're joining together in a way that's going to provide greater access and opportunity for people in our community.”

KLRU has been located on the University of Texas at Austin campus since it was founded in 1962. In recent years the rapid growth of both the Moody College of Communications and KLRU have created significant space issues for both.

“This move will allow both the Moody College and KLRU to increase the amount of space available and the efficiency with which space is used,” says Stotesbery. “More importantly, the move to ACC opens exciting new opportunities for collaboration with ACC while maintaining our longstanding cooperation with UT-Austin.”

“There’s a lot we can do with this type of facility,” says Dr. Rhodes. “Today ACC-TV primarily provides educational material for our distance learning classes, but we want to do much more for the community. With KLRU’s guidance, we will develop more engaging programming highlighting our faculty, students, and programs and we’ll build feature programming with our elected officials, community leaders, and employers to discuss the important news happening in Central Texas.”

Funded by a $55 million ACC Public Facilities Corporation bond using existing tuition and tax dollars, construction is expected to begin fall 2018. The building will remain owned by the college, and KLRU will lease its office and production space. Other portions of the renovation will house ACC administrative and student services offices. Construction is expected to be complete in 2020 around the same time that ACC Highland Phase 2 is expected to open. For more information about the Highland redevelopment project, visit austincc.edu/vision.

###

About ACC: Austin Community College is a nationally recognized two-year college serving Central Texas. ACC is focused on student success and providing affordable, flexible pathways to help students reach their education goals, learn new job skills, or advance their career. The college currently enrolls more than 74,000 students annually. Check out their inspiring stories at austincc.edu/iamacc.

About KLRU-TV, Austin PBS: KLRU-TV, Austin PBS is dedicated to telling stories that entertain, inspire and change our lives. KLRU highlights what makes Austin unique—whether music, arts or public issues — by creating and distributing award-winning original content. KLRU produces several series including Austin City Limits, Arts In Context, Central Texas Gardener, Civic Summit and Overheard with Evan Smith. As a nonprofit educational organization, KLRU also prepares children to succeed in school and creates lifelong learning opportunities for all. Find out more at KLRU.org.