BREAKING Ground ... BUILDING ON A LEGACY
The League’s New Headquarters for the Community by Karen Killough
The Junior League of Austin, founded in 1934, will soon have a new home. On January 18 of this year, we broke ground on our new Community Impact Center, located on a beautiful, tree-filled 10-acre campus in Northwest Austin. The 48,000-square -foot facility will not only serve as the League’s headquarters, but will also function as a collaboration, meeting and events space for community engagements. We are truly building on the League’s inspiring 84-year legacy of community service and philanthropic activism to create a space which allows both our League and our community partners to drive their missions even further.
the country with more than 2,500 members and several committee meetings nearly every day at headquarters we are bursting at the seams. And with a population of close to 2 million people, the Austin community needs space also. Several years ago, a plan was hatched to build a new facility which could house League operations and also to do more to strengthen the community.
“Now we can go back to allowing non-profits to use our space for their trainings and meetings….we can fulfill that need for non-profits again. Community Impact Center is the perfect name because that’s what’s really going to happen here.” A Capital Campaign was kicked off to raise the necessary funds, $10 million to be exact. Site planning and permit applications were set in motion. Many hours were spent brainstorming ideas for the functionality and use of the spaces. The result is a beautiful, functional space that will become a hub of community activity.
The Community Impact Center will sit on one of the last available parcels of developable land in the Loop 360 and Spicewood Springs Road area: The highly anticipated 8501 Bluffstone Cove. The groundbreaking thoughtful and sustainable celebration brought design has nestled the facility together League leaders President-Elect Amy Hurt, President Julie Hall, 2016-2017 President Sarah Valenzuela into the bluff, with a stunning and members, as well as backdrop of Hill Country City of Austin officials, community landscape. Working with renowned partners, project team members, architects STG Design (recent and Capital Campaign donors. “We knew we needed a new projects include the Seaholm Power Former JLA President and Capital headquarters when it became Plant redevelopment, Lamar Central, Campaign co-chair MariBen Ramsey, clear we were just outgrowing [the and the UT Bill and Melinda Gates Capital Campaign co-chair Amber current headquarters]. When they Computer Science Complex and Dell Carden, City Council member Alison bought the current headquarters, Computer Science Hall) the facility Alter, and JLA President Julie Hall I don’t know if the League ever and parking were designed into the spoke at the ceremony. The festive thought we’d outgrow it,” recalls landscape, which is also a nature event, which included the official Ramsey, who has been a Junior sanctuary. With bat houses placed “first shovel,” was truly exciting and League member since 1987. “The near the creek that runs through the memorable for all in attendance. current headquarters seemed property, we are supporting Austin’s palatial in comparison to the old large urban bat colony (which help The League’s current headquarters, headquarters on 6th and Red River. to control insect populations). The The Square at Parkcrest off RM 2222, Non-profits were able to use the site will also include a nature trail, has served the League well over auditorium space all the time—we grassy meadow and pollinator the past 35 years. When our League outgrew the ability to do that…the garden filled with beautiful flowers. purchased that space in 1983, we League occupies the entire space had 975 members serving a city of now.” Ramsey believes the new, The space was designed to be both only 373,000 residents. But now, larger space will allow the League functional and beautiful. The nexus as one of the largest Leagues in to help the community even more. of the building is the community Spring 2018
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