(Drone photography by Steven Joyner/Austonia.com)

The Holdsworth Center educator-training campus founded by Charles Butt, chairman and CEO of H-E-B.

Along a placid stretch on Lake Austin, tucked out of sight behind a stand of cypress trees, a massive and bustling 44-acre construction project is burgeoning in the hills near the picturesque Pennybacker Bridge northwest of downtown.


Here are designer renderings of the campus, courtesy of The Holdsworth Center.

Exterior rendering of learning center

The Holdsworth Center

Aerial drone images captured by Austonia this week shows a construction site in full swing, with nearly a dozen structures springing up on one of Lake Austin's last large undeveloped land tracts - the site of the The Holdsworth Center, a new $90 million nonprofit educator-training center funded by H-E-B Chairman and CEO Charles Butt and set to begin operations next spring.

The site is at the bottom of a tree-packed hill dropping to the lakefront from RM 2222 near the confluence of Lake Austin and Bull Creek.

It is all but invisible to cars traveling above it on 2222 and boats cruising past the thicket of trees that conceal it onshore.

"It is one of the last large undeveloped tracts on Lake Austin and is likely the last one inside Loop 360," David Armbrust, the Austin attorney handling the zoning case, told the Austin-American Statesman in 2017, which reported the value of the land at nearly $14M.

When it's complete, the campus will include 180,000 square feet of learning and overnight space in 18 buildings, including a 300-person capacity event room and 186 rooms for overnight stays, according to the center's website.

Butt, who has pledged $100 million to the project, named it for his mother, Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth, a former school teacher and philanthropist.

Holdsworth officials said the delay from fall 2020 to spring 2021 was due in part to construction issues and in part to the coronavirus.

See land use and mobility plans on file with the city embedded in this article.

Designers Lake Flato Architects and Ten Eyck Landscape Architects included undeveloped area on more than half of the site, preserving 3,000 native trees for visitors to enjoy while they meet and relax during training events.

The Holdsworth has been training educators at various sites for three years, but the campus will serve "as a permanent home for public school educators to develop as leaders, a place they will return to time and again to grow, learn, collaborate, reflect and gather inspiration to take back to their districts.

The center will be available for third-party rentals to benefit the mission of the center.

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