ACC Rio Grande
- Improvements and Renovation -
ACC Rio Grande Main Building was originally constructed in 1915 to serve as the Austin High School. A substantial addition was constructed in 1925, creating two large open-air courtyards. The building is concrete-framed, with walls constructed of multi-wythe brick and hollow clay tile masonry. Windows were originally wood- and steel-framed, but the majority were replaced in the 1970s with aluminum-framed units. The structure is a designated Austin Landmark.
The building was acquired in 1975 by Austin Community College and has since served as the main building for the Rio Grande campus. Extensive upgrades were approved through a 2014 bond program, and a team of designers was selected to spearhead the renovation, including Overland Partners Architecture, Studio8 Architects, Hutson Gallagher, Architexas, and Acton Partners
Acton Partners’ role on the project consisted of evaluating exterior brick masonry, cast stone units, steel- and aluminum-framed windows, steel lintels, concrete entrances, and roof elements including drainage, copings, and membrane. We performed a detailed analysis of water and air infiltration points through the enclosure, including below-grade areas, entrance terraces, exterior walls, and roofing. We also reviewed structural wall and roof components for signs of distress.
Subsequent to this evaluation, APC prepared a report outlining our recommendations for repair of the observed distress conditions. To ensure these scope items were adequately addressed in the restoration package, we reviewed and provided descriptive comments and sketched details for the design development and construction document drawing packages. These included improvements to roof drainage, copings, and integrations with new ETFE roof and penthouse spaces; flashings for window perimeters to prevent water and air infiltration; addition of an air barrier in locations of discontinuity to accommodate the new, high-performance mechanical system; and repair and stabilization of areas of cast stone and brick masonry.
Repair construction is planned to be completed in late 2019.