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Blinn announces purchase of 94 acres in Bryan for development of additional campus

Site located at F.M. 2818 and Leonard Road provides convenient highway access

February 19, 2015

Blinn College announced the purchase of approximately 94 acres of land at the intersection of F.M. 2818 and Leonard Road in Bryan today for the development of a second Brazos County campus.

Blinn plans to develop this land into a 10,000–15,000 student campus to complement the College’s pre-existing Bryan campus on Villa Maria Road. The additional campus will allow the College to develop additional science, technology, engineering and mathematics offerings and expand its workforce, technical, research and health-related education programs.

Blinn anticipates breaking ground on the property this year with the goal of hosting classes as early as 2017. The announcement of a capital campaign will be forthcoming.

“With this location, we will be able to touch the lives and careers of thousands of students, not only here in the Brazos Valley, but throughout the state of Texas,” said Douglas Borchardt, board president. “The development of this property will allow us to expand our offerings in a variety of fields, and help a new generation of Blinn graduates obtain the skills they need to fulfill their college and career goals.”

The new property will provide direct access for students commuting between Blinn and Texas A&M University via state highways instead of city streets. While the area is poised for future growth, Blinn’s development expects to have minimal impact on the existing city infrastructure or residential subdivisions.

“This campus will ensure that we continue to meet the growing demand for a Blinn College education,” said Dr. Ana M. “Cha” Guzmán, interim district president. “Today’s announcement represents an investment in our young people and the future of the Brazos Valley.”

Blinn purchased the property from KKJM Investments, which managed the sale on behalf of the Konecny family. Joan Konecny Krog and her husband John were on hand for Thursday’s announcement.

“We are proud that after serving as the home of a family of committed educators, this property will be dedicated to the success of our young people,” said Sylvia McMullen, president of Blinn’s Brazos County campuses.

ENROLLMENT GROWTH SPURS EXPANSION

For the seventh time in the last eight years, Blinn College announced the largest enrollment in its 131-year history this Fall, with 19,317 students enrolled across the College’s four campuses in Brenham, Bryan, Schulenburg and Sealy. That record enrollment included 13,587 Bryan campus students – a 6.4 percent increase from 2013.

Since 2006, Blinn’s enrollment has grown 37.5 percent, and the College’s master planning efforts indicate that growth will continue due to the College’s strong academic reputation and its partnerships with Texas A&M, Baylor, Sam Houston State and Texas State universities, and the universities of Texas and Houston.

The Texas A&M Blinn TEAM (Transfer Enrollment at A&M) Program, which allows selected applicants to Texas A&M’s freshman class a unique co-enrollment opportunity, included almost 1,100 students this Fall. The first of its kind between a major university and a community college, the initiative received the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Recognition of Excellence and its coveted Star Award as one of the top educational initiatives in Texas higher education.

An additional 250 students enrolled this Fall in the Texas A&M Engineering Academy at Blinn, a partnership that gives talented students an opportunity to pursue their engineering degree while co-enrolled at Texas A&M and Blinn.

The growth of Bryan-College Station and development of the Research Valley are 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 in Fall 2013, drawing significant numbers from Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Dallas-Fort Worth.

With Blinn’s growth comes the opportunity to make an even greater impact in the community. A study released earlier this year revealed that Blinn makes a $345.3 million annual impact on the local economy, including $247. 4 million each year in Bryan-College Station. That marks a 21.7 percent greater impact than a similar study conducted in 2010.

KONECNY FAMILY HAS LONG VALUED EDUCATION

For 35 years, the property served as the home of Bryan ISD employees Johnny Frank and Mary Francis Konecny.

As the son of immigrant parents, Johnny Frank Konecny understood the value of education as a step in achieving the American dream. Born and raised in Bryan, he graduated from Bryan High School before attending Texas A&M on athletic scholarships and playing football, basketball and baseball. When he graduated in 1929 with a degree in education, he became the first in his family to graduate from college. He later earned his master’s degree.

He served as a coach and teacher in Nederland, where he met and married Mary Francis Newton. In 1949 they moved to Bryan on the property John J. Konecny had purchased in the 1930s.

Johnny Frank Konecny served as coach and teacher at Lamar Junior High School and Bryan High School, and became principal of Anson Jones Junior High School when it opened. Mary served as secretary at Lamar for many years and went to Anson Jones to serve as Johnny’s secretary until they retired in 1971.

All the Konecny’s descendants have attended college, earning numerous bachelor’s degrees, two master’s degrees, a law degree, a Ph.D. and an M.D. Two began their college careers at Blinn, and three are educators.

NEW CAMPUS BUILDS UPON PROUD TRADITION IN BRAZOS COUNTY

The announcement of the new campus location comes on the eve of Blinn’s 45th anniversary in Brazos County next fall.

Blinn first came to Bryan in 1970 after Allen Academy closed its junior college division. After consulting with Texas A&M President Earl Rudder and the superintendents of the Bryan and College Station school districts, Blinn began offering night classes at Allen Academy and A&M Consolidated High School. Rudder’s only stipulation was that Blinn maintain its open admissions policy.

In 1972, Blinn moved into the Kraft Building in downtown Bryan and began offering day classes, and 10 years later the College expanded to the Woodstone Shopping Center in College Station. Blinn moved out of the Kraft Building and into the Townshire Shopping Center in 1989.
In 1997, Blinn moved to its current location on the corner of Villa Maria Road and East 29th Street. By 2000, Blinn had added two more buildings on the campus, and in 2001 Blinn purchased the Schulman 6 Theaters and College Park Center properties for additional classroom and office space.

About Blinn College
Founded in 1883, Blinn is a comprehensive community college committed to educational excellence and to individual and community enhancement. With an enrollment of 19,317 students, Blinn ranks among the nation’s leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for its affordable educational excellence.

As part of its commitment to student success, Blinn is implementing a Quality Enhancement Plan titled “Destination Success: First-Year Focus,” which utilizes learning communities to support first-year college students.

Registration for Blinn’s 8-week courses is available through March 22. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.