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Blinn board considers additional property options in closed session

College will look to additional properties to meet surging enrollment

September 9, 2014

The Blinn College Board of Trustees was presented with short- and long-term Brazos County property options during a special facilities workshop Tuesday afternoon.

Blinn enrolled 18,413 students last year, including 12,883 on its Bryan campus. Since 2006, district-wide enrollment has climbed 31.1 percent. This Fall, Blinn expects its enrollment to exceed 19,000 students, including approximately 13,600 in Bryan.

In closed session, the board was presented short- and long-term Brazos County property options from a real estate assessment team comprised of Blinn administrators and external architecture and real estate consultants. The properties included short-term (1-3 year) solutions as well as long-term campus locations that would complement the Villa Maria campus. The College does not anticipate announcing a property purchase at its regular board meeting Sept. 23.

As the College explores opportunities for new campus locations, it is also working with Arkitex Studio, Inc. to maximize efficiency and strengthen the learning space, food service, parking and transportation resources on the Villa Maria campus.

Earlier this year, 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. BOKA Powell projected that Blinn’s Brazos County campuses could see enrollment exceed 15,000 by 2017 and approach 20,000 by 2025.

In addition to the College’s largest campus on Villa Maria Road, Blinn has Brazos County locations on Highway 47, Post Office Street, F.M. 60 and Old College Road. Blinn also has campuses in Brenham, Schulenburg and Sealy.

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 Blinn TEAM (Transfer Enrollment at A&M) Program allows selected applicants to Texas A&M’s freshman class a unique co-enrollment opportunity with the chance to earn full Texas A&M admission. The initiative, the first of its kind between a major university and a community college, received the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Recognition of Excellence.

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.

With the College’s growth comes the opportunity to make an even greater economic impact in the community. A study released earlier this year revealed that Blinn makes a $345.3 million annual impact on the local economy, including $247. 4 million each year in Bryan-College Station. That marks a 21.7 percent greater impact than a similar study conducted in 2010.