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Blinn board approves 5-year lease for additional space in Bryan

College will relocate support services to Tejas Center and free space on the Villa Maria campus

September 23, 2014

The Blinn College Board of Trustees approved a letter of intent to sign a five-year lease for additional office space during its regular meeting Tuesday night.

The board approved an agreement with Tejas Center, Ltd. to lease approximately 22,430 square feet at 3125 South Texas Ave., Suite 1900 in Bryan. The space was formerly occupied by Skyfiber, and Blinn anticipates occupying the facility during the Spring semester.

Blinn plans to move Bryan campus student support services such as enrollment services, admissions and records, financial aid and testing to the new location. The move would free space on the Bryan campus, which last week announced an enrollment of 13,587 students – a 6.4 percent increase over last Fall. Blinn’s master planning efforts with various consultants project that its Brazos County campuses could see enrollment exceed 15,000 by 2017 and approach 20,000 by 2025.

The board continues to consider long-term Brazos County property options.

In response to enrollment growth, the board also authorized the College to negotiate a change order with Dudley Construction to place additional parking behind the Bryan campus Administration Building. Dudley Construction was previously contracted for construction and landscaping improvements, and the College anticipates adding approximately 100 parking spots by the end of October.

The board also authorized a lighting contract with XtraLight Manufacturing for interior lighting improvements on the Bryan campus.

Blinn’s growth projections were based upon its 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 first of its kind between a major university and a community college, the initiative received the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Recognition of Excellence and was recently nominated for the Star Award.

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 in Fall 2013, drawing significant numbers from Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Dallas-Fort Worth.

With Blinn’s growth comes the opportunity to make an even greater 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.