The Blinn College Board of Trustees approved a purchase contract for 53.8 acres, including a 180,000 square-foot research facility, to accommodate the College’s skyrocketing enrollment at its regular board meeting Tuesday in Brenham.
The purchase contract with Lynntech, Inc. is contingent upon successful completion of the College’s due diligence process. The new campus, located at 2501 Earl Rudder Freeway South in College Station, would complement the College’s 80-acre Bryan campus on Villa Maria Road.
Blinn could begin utilizing 71,000 square feet of the facility – including two lab spaces – as soon as Fall 2015, while Lynntech can remain in the space it currently occupies for 36 months. The College has not yet determined which academic programs the facility would house.
“Students from across the state are coming to Blinn because of our national reputation for academic excellence and affordability,” said Dr. Harold Nolte, Blinn College district president. “This new property will allow us to build upon that tradition of excellence and will allow even more students to achieve their dreams at Blinn College.”
The purchase price will be finalized upon completion of the appraisal process.
In February, Dallas-based architectural design and planning firm BOKA Powell presented Blinn’s trustees with immediate, short- and long-term solutions for the College’s enrollment growth.
Blinn has experienced 31.1 percent enrollment growth since 2006 and registered 18,413 total students during the recently-concluded Fall semester. BOKA Powell projected that Blinn’s Brazos County campuses, which enrolled 12,883 students last Fall, could see enrollment exceed 15,000 by 2017 and approach 20,000 by 2025.
BOKA Powell’s growth projections were based upon Blinn’s strong academic reputation and its partnerships with Texas A&M, Sam Houston State and Texas State universities, and the universities of Texas and Houston. The Transfer Enrollment at Texas A&M (TEAM) Program, a unique co-enrollment partnership between Blinn and Texas A&M, recently received the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s “Recognition of Excellence,” and Blinn’s partnership with the Texas A&M College of Engineering as it embarks on its goal of 25,000 engineering students by 2025 will continue to strengthen Blinn enrollment.
The growth of Bryan-College Station and development of the Research Valley were cited as key factors in Blinn’s projected growth, even as the College has proven unique among community colleges in attracting students from across the state. Blinn students came from 1,533 zip codes last Fall, drawing significant numbers from Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Dallas-Fort Worth.
“Every indicator we have suggests that Texans’ demand for a Blinn College education will continue to increase,” said Sylvia McMullen, president of Brazos County campuses. “This purchase will allow us to better serve our students and this community.”
Blinn presented a study in February revealing that the College makes a $283.8 million annual impact on the local economy, including $247. 4 million each year in Bryan-College Station.
Blinn’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 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 career and technical certification programs. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.