Blinn opens doors to new Brenham Campus residence hall

Mill Creek Hall can accommodate 464 residents

Mill Creek Hall can accommodate 464 residents

August 17, 2018

The Blinn College District opened the doors Friday to a new residence hall that will provide contemporary on-campus housing for 464 residents and feature state-of-the-art technology designed to encourage collaborative student learning.

Blinn opened Mill Creek Hall with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony that featured remarks from Dr. Mary Hensley, Chancellor of the Blinn College District; Charles Moser, Chair of the Blinn College District Board of Trustees; Texas Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst; City of Brenham Mayor Milton Tate; Dr. John Turner, Blinn Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Services and Executive Dean for the Brenham Campus; Greg Eden, Chairman, President, and CEO of National Campus and Community Development (NCCD); Rafael Figueroa, CEO of Servitas; and Zoe Madrid, a sophomore student enrolled in the Texas A&M Engineering Academy at Blinn-Brenham.

“These residence halls have been designed to make students feel at home and encourage a sense of community,” Hensley said. “Most importantly, Mill Creek Hall provides much-needed student housing that will allow hundreds of additional students to benefit each year from a Blinn College education.”

Located at the corner of Saeger Street and Old Mill Creek Road on the Blinn-Brenham Campus, Mill Creek Hall opens in time to welcome students for the Fall semester. The facility features a common area, four study rooms, four student lounges, four seating areas, a vending area, a laundry room with 16 washers and dryers, two 3D printer rooms, and two technology classrooms.

The technology classrooms will include 24 Group Learning Stations. Designed to seat four to six students, these custom-built stations include a large monitor installed at the end of each table and 110-volt and USB power outlets. Projectors with 133-inch screens are installed in each classroom, and are capable of receiving input from any number of devices from the instructor’s lectern, or any one of the Learning Stations to an individual student’s device.

The smart monitor system creates increased collaboration though real-time screen sharing. Students log into the system with their laptop, phone, or tablet to send images and audio to their group table monitor. Each table’s input can be selected and sent to the main screen. At the front of the room, instructors manage all activity and can share their own screen with an individual projector or monitor, all projectors or monitors, or any combination. Instructors also have access to monitor, annotate, change, stream, or save any of the inputs connected to the system.

Enhanced Listening has been installed in the classrooms using six ceiling microphones in each room. These are placed over each group learning table so students may ask questions and be heard by other students and the instructor, and will be used for streamed or recorded sessions.

The addition of Mill Creek Hall will help Blinn meet the demand for on-campus housing and enrollment on the Brenham Campus. Last year, the campus housed 1,320 students, more than any other community college in the state. Despite this, in recent years Blinn has had a wait list for students seeking on-campus housing.

Turner announced during his remarks Friday that Mill Creek Hall is occupied to full capacity for the Fall semester.

Mill Creek Hall is funded by 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 have entered into a 40-year ground lease, and upon loan repayment by NCCD, the facility will revert to Blinn.

Registration is available for Blinn’s Fall semester through Sunday, Aug. 26. For enrollment or financial aid information, visit www.blinn.edu.

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