June 30, 2014
The Blinn College Board of Trustees has authorized College administrators to perform due diligence on other Brazos County properties after terminating the purchase contract for 53.8 acres in College Station Monday night.
The board voted to terminate its purchase contract for property located at 2501 Earl Rudder Freeway South. College administrators are now authorized to enter the due diligence process on any Brazos County sites identified as potential campus locations.
Blinn will assemble a real estate assessment team comprised of internal administrators and external consultants to identify potential land options for campus expansion opportunities.
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.
In addition to the College’s largest campus on Villa Maria Road, Blinn has Brazos County locations on Highway 47, Post Office Street, F.M.60 and Old College Road. The College also has campuses in Brenham, Schulenburg and Sealy.
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 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 opportunity to earn full Texas A&M admission. The initiative, the first of its kind between a major university and a community college, 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 $345.3 million annual impact on the local economy, including $247. 4 million each year in Bryan-College Station.