Blinn Board of Trustees takes action on new Brenham, RELLIS facilities

College officials announce record enrollment for Spring 2020

February 18, 2020

The Blinn College District Board of Trustees approved a guaranteed maximum price for a science, technology, engineering, and innovation (STEI) building to be built on the Brenham Campus and authorized the College to negotiate and execute a contract for an architect to design a new academic building at the RELLIS Campus during its regular February meeting on Tuesday.

The board approved a $27.7 million guaranteed maximum price for the construction of the STEI building. With the inclusion of soft costs estimates, this brings the project’s total budget to $35.5 million. Funds for the project are available in the 2019 series bond funds and reserves.

Located at Prairie Lea Street between College Avenue and 5th Street, the 72,000-square-foot STEI building includes 17,000 square feet in laboratory space and a 3,000-square-foot innovation lab. The facility will provide expanded anatomy and physiology, chemistry, geology, microbiology, and physics lab space, as well as simulation space for Blinn’s Vocational Nursing Program and engineering labs for use by the Texas A&M Engineering Academy at Blinn-Brenham. The facility also will include a computer science classroom and information technology laboratory, and a two-story engineering technology laboratory designed for drone repair and development.

Construction will begin in March and the facility is scheduled to open in time for the Fall 2021 semester.

The board also authorized administrators to negotiate and execute a contract with M. Arthur Gensler Jr. & Associates for professional architectural services related to the programming, planning, design, and construction of the proposed Phase II building on the RELLIS Campus.

The RELLIS Academic Alliance is a unique partnership between Blinn and The Texas A&M University System’s regional universities that allows students to complete their foundational coursework with Blinn and seamlessly transition to one of the Texas A&M System regional universities located at the RELLIS Academic Complex across the street from the Schwartz Building. Through the RELLIS Academic Alliance, students can pursue bachelor’s degrees in accounting, biology, business, criminal justice, computer science, communication, finance, health science, management, marketing, nursing, psychology, public administration, and public safety management.

Blinn opened the Schwartz Building in Fall 2018 with 1,515 students. That enrollment climbed to 2,582 students this semester. For more information regarding the RELLIS Campus, visit www.blinn.edu/RELLIS.

In other business, Karen Buck, Vice Chancellor for Student Services and Administration, reported to the board that Blinn enrolled a record 18,131 students for the Spring 2020 semester, a 4.3% increase over the previous year. This marked the first time in College history that Spring enrollment has surpassed 18,000 students.

Spring enrollment included 7,853 students on the Bryan Campus, 3,408 online students, 2,458 students at RELLIS, 2,253 students in Brenham, 117 students in Schulenburg, and 92 students in Sealy.
The board also authorized the College to negotiate and execute a contract with Gowan, Inc. for upgrades to the Brenham Campus central plant.

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With an enrollment of 19,581 students, Blinn ranks among the nation’s leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for affordable educational excellence.