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Blinn board approves new design for Brenham Campus student housing facility

New design increases facility’s capacity to 465 students

September 9, 2016

The Blinn College Board of Trustees approved a new design for a planned student housing facility located on the College’s Brenham campus during a special meeting held Friday, Sept. 9.

The board approved financing for parking lot and site improvements adjacent to the student housing project, and authorized Blinn administrators to negotiate and award a professional services agreement with Strand Associates, Inc. for the design and construction phase services related to the parking lot project. Blinn also was authorized to seek construction bids for the parking lot project.

In August 2015, the board authorized Blinn administrators to engage in a public/private partnership for the construction of a new student housing facility on the Brenham campus. The project, located at the corner of Saeger Street and Old Mill Creek Road, will be funded by National Campus and Community Development (NCCD)-Blinn College Properties, LLC, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established to provide tax-exempt financing specifically for this project. Blinn and NCCD-Blinn College Properties will enter into a 40-year ground lease, and upon repayment by NCCD, the facility will revert to Blinn.

In March 2016, the College became aware that a 0.2346-acre portion of the design site would be designated as a wetland. To preserve the favorable interest rate available from a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Community Development Initiative Grant and to expedite construction for occupancy by Fall 2018, an alternative design was developed.

As part of the new design, Blinn will finance the estimated $1 million in parking lot and site improvements taking place on the wetland area with existing bond funds. The remaining $32 million development cost will be funded by NCCD.

The new design is expected to increase the facility’s capacity from 453 to 465 students and increase the total square footage from 159,000 to 162,000.

The Blinn-Brenham campus currently houses 1,326 students, more than any other community college in the state. Despite this, approximately 925 students were placed on the housing waiting list this fall. The addition of 465 students would generate approximately $3 million in annual tuition, fees and state reimbursement.