Home sweet home: The Holdsworth Center breaks ground on lakefront Austin campus

Holdsworth board members pictured at groundbreaking ceremony.

We are thrilled to announce that The Holdsworth Center has broken ground on a new home along the shores of Lake Austin.

Peaceful, intimate and restorative, the 44-acre campus is designed especially for our Texas educators, men and women who shoulder the responsibility for educating 5.3 million K-12 schoolchildren.

Our founder, Charles Butt, had a vision to create a transformative environment for public education leaders, a place they can be proud of and call their own.

Our hope is that The Holdsworth Center will serve as a permanent home for educators to reflect, learn, grow, collaborate and gather inspiration to take back to their districts.

Please read more about the campus and its features below. We can’t wait to invite you to visit our new home when it opens in the summer of 2020.

 

The Holdsworth Center Campus – Opening Summer of 2020

The main learning center will feature a 300-capacity event room, lounge and full-service kitchen, as well as interactive classrooms and seminar spaces.

The main learning center will feature a 300-capacity event room, lounge and full-service kitchen, as well as interactive classrooms and seminar spaces.

Designed by Lake Flato Architects and Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, and constructed by The Beck Group, the campus will have a distinct identity that evokes a Hill Country aesthetic.

Sixteen new buildings will surround the heart of the campus, a natural meadow and commons area.

A 180-room residential village will accommodate participants for overnight stays, with a community “living room” on each floor, a kitchenette, couches and a screened-in porch. Nearby, three small casitas (with six suites) tucked against the hillside along the lake’s edge will house guest lecturers and visiting faculty.

Interior photo of the new administrative building.

Interior view of the new administrative building.

The administration building will house staff while the main learning center will feature a 300-capacity event room, lounge and full-service kitchen, as well as interactive classrooms and seminar spaces. A library will house a book collection on education and video screens will display TED-type talks about Holdsworth participant experiences.

Down by the water, a social hub with outdoor decks and a screened-in porch will provide space for mixing and mingling after daily activities, as well as outdoor games such as ladder golf, washers and horseshoes.  A smaller, open-air pavilion will host outdoor talks and lectures. On the lake’s edge, an old dock will transform into an outdoor, two-story classroom.

The landscape plan calls for saving 3,000 native trees, including 100 percent of the heritage oaks, pecans and bald cypress growing on the property.

Interior view of the 300-capacity event room.

Interior view of the 300-capacity event room.

Only six miles from downtown Austin, a 150-foot hillside drops from the road and buffers the property from sound and light.

Ten Eyck Architects are using rain water harvesting, porous pavement, drainage areas and other techniques to prevent runoff from rushing unabated down the slope to the river.

To restore ecological health, the plan calls for aerating soil compacted by grazing and removing invasive vines, grasses and trees. The lake’s edge, currently choked with invasive Chinese Tallows, will be cleared to unveil views of the water and allow for native species to flourish.

To create a seamless blending of landscape and buildings, vegetation will creep up columns and drape metal screens. An indoor/outdoor feel will permeate the campus, with buildings designed for people to spill out naturally onto decks, screened-in porches, intimate courtyards, meadows and lawns.

Visit this page to learn more about The Holdsworth Center’s new campus.