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September 11, 2013

Blinn names architect for new student activity center

Marmon Mok designed similar centers at Texas A&M, Abilene Christian and A&M – Kingsville

Blinn College has selected Marmon Mok Architecture to design the new recreation, activities and athletic center on its Brenham campus.

On Wednesday, Blinn’s Board of Trustees approved the selection of Marmon Mok to design the Kruse Center, a new facility made possible by a generous gift from the Kruse family. Siblings Mildred Kruse Bridges, Evelyn Ann Kruse, Ed. Kruse and his wife Evelyn, and Howard Kruse and his wife Verlin established the gift in memory of their parents, E.F. and Bertha Kruse. E.F. was a 1916 graduate of Blinn College, and their children and grandchildren have attended Blinn.

“Marmon Mok is the perfect partner for this project because it has the same dedication to excellence that has made Blinn one of the top community colleges in the state,” said Richard O’Malley, Blinn’s executive director of facilities, planning and construction. “We look forward to utilizing Marmon Mok’s expertise in creating a facility that will become one of the most popular locations on this campus.”

The board also approved the hire of O’Malley Engineers to provide civil engineering services for the project.

College officials anticipate placing the new center, which could open as early as Fall 2015, at the corner of Old Mill Creek Road and Blinn Boulevard, across the street from the baseball field (map).

Marmon Mok has designed 20 new or expanded recreation centers throughout Texas in the past 25 years and completed three university recreation centers in the past five years. The firm designed student recreation centers at Texas A&M, Texas A&M – Kingsville and Abilene Christian universities, and also designed multi-purpose venues at the Round Rock Sports Complex and the Alamodome.

Marmon Mok won the NIRSA Design Merit Award in 2010 for the Texas State Recreation Center addition/renovation and has earned more than 75 design, professional and community awards during its history.

“I have worked with a number of firms during my 20-plus year career, and I can say without hesitation that Marmon Mok is one of the best in the nation,” said Dr. Terisa C. Remelius, vice president of Student Affairs at Texas A&M – Kingsville. “Our student recreation center is now a centerpiece on our campus and one of our favorite facilities on our campus tour.”

The Kruse Center will benefit the student experience on Blinn’s historic campus and promote both enrollment and retention. Blinn – Brenham houses 1,166 on-campus students, more than any other community college in the state, and a center such as this has been consistently cited as the campus’s primary need in student polling.

The College has already begun a fundraising campaign for the center, which will be paid for through donations and bond funds.

Blinn enrolled 17,989 students last Fall and has experienced 28.3 percent growth since 2006.

Founded in 1883, the College’s tuition and fees average about one-third the cost of the same classes at most four-year public universities in the state. In addition to its four campuses in Brenham, Bryan, Schulenburg and Sealy, the College teaches online courses, dual credit for high school and prepares students for quick employment through its workforce education, technical training and vocational education programs. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.