Blinn College officials will discuss their Brazos County expansion plans with the Brenham Evening Lions Club at the Club’s meeting Tuesday, May 6.
The Lion’s Club will meet at the Cannery Kitchen at 314 E. Alamo St. for a 6:30 p.m. meal followed by a presentation from Dr. Harold Nolte, Blinn College district president; Sylvia McMullen, president of Brazos County campuses; and Richard O’Malley, executive director of facilities, planning and construction.
In April, the Blinn Board of Trustees approved a purchase contract for 53.8 acres, including a 180,000 square-foot research facility, to accommodate the College’s skyrocketing enrollment.
The purchase contract with Lynntech, Inc. is contingent upon successful completion of the College’s due diligence process. The new campus, located at 2501 Earl Rudder Freeway South in College Station, would complement the College’s 80-acre Bryan campus on Villa Maria Road.
In February,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. Blinn has experienced 31.1 percent enrollment growth since 2006 and registered 18,413 total students during the recently-concluded Fall semester. BOKA Powell projected that Blinn’s Brazos County campuses, which enrolled 12,883 students last Fall, could see enrollment exceed 15,000 by 2017 and approach 20,000 by 2025.
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 Transfer Enrollment at Texas A&M (TEAM) Program, a unique co-enrollment partnership between Blinn and Texas A&M, recently received the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s “Recognition of Excellence,” and Blinn’s partnership with the Texas A&M College of Engineering as it embarks on its goal of 25,000 engineering students by 2025 will continue to strengthen Blinn enrollment.
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.
Blinn presented a study in February revealing that the College makes a $283.8 million annual impact on the local economy, including $247. 4 million each year in Bryan-College Station. Story and photos courtesy of Blinn College.