The Austin Asian Resource Center is well on its way to being built, according to an update to the Austin City Council Mar. 11 by Schiller Liao, a member of the AARC Board of Directors.
“We’ve been working on it for a decade now and we’ve been working very diligently since then,” he said. “We want to see completion by April 2012 and have a grand opening by May for Asian Heritage Month. We will do every effort to do that.”
The AARC, located at 8501 Cameron Road, would serve the entire community of Austin as a gathering and educational space, similar to the city’s Mexican-American Cultural Center.
Liao described the space as a multi-purpose space where business meetings can take place, especially as a site to welcome business people from China and other Asian countries. It would be also be a family-friendly area with open spaces for children.
“This project is not just for Asians, but it is for all Austinites and for all Texans,” he said.
Voters approved a $5 million bond for the project in 2006. The project has since been scaled down in scope, but still provide a multi-function hall for 600 people, classrooms, conference rooms, a library, art exhibition space and outdoor areas with water features.
The design concept will be LEED silver level certified and will incorporate solar energy, xeriscaping (using native plants that require less water) and rainwater harvesting, among other green features.
“I salute you with the LEED certification. That’s very exciting aspect,” said council member Chris Riley.
Mayor Lee Leffingwell congratulated Liao and other board members on the progress they have made on the center.
“The MACC [Mexican-American Cultural Center] took 30 years, and Phase 1 opened a few years ago. It looks like in relative terms you’re moving in light speed,” he said.
Councilman Bill Spelman also offered his congratulations on seeing the project near fruition.
“I am in awe of your master plan. I look forward to your being able to break ground on this thing in 2012 and I look forward to going here all my life,” he said.