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Blinn board reviews proposed $107.9 million budget for Fiscal Year 2016-17

Board authorizes administrators to negotiate and award contracts for RELLIS Campus services

June 21, 2016

The Blinn College Board of Trustees reviewed a proposed $107.9 million Fiscal Year 2016-17 budget during its regular meeting Tuesday night in Brenham.

Kelli Shomaker, CFO/Senior Vice President for Finance & Administrative Services, presented the proposed budget, which represents a 1 percent increase over the $106.8 million Fiscal Year 2015-16 budget.

The proposed budget includes a 3.5 percent salary increase for staff and full-time faculty, and a $50 increase per course for part-time faculty. The increase in salary and benefits expenses will total approximately $2 million. Other increases in operating expenses were attributable to the introduction of a new Surgical Technology Program to be located on the Blinn-Bryan campus and the expansion of the A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center in Brenham.

As Blinn positions itself for future expansion, strong fiscal management has resulted in a 100 percent increase in cash reserves since 2010. Blinn’s cash reserves stand at $46.5 million as of May 31.

Per the proposed budget, tuition and fees would represent approximately $60 million, or 66 percent, of Blinn’s total revenue. The budget anticipates approximately $29 million (32 percent) in state funding and less than $1.8 million (2 percent) in tax revenue. Blinn only collects property tax revenue in Washington County, and per state law, those funds can only be utilized on the Blinn-Brenham campus.

In other business, the board authorized a deductive change order with Vaughn Construction for improvements to its property at 851 Harvey Mitchell Parkway. Blinn initially planned to develop a new campus on the property, but recently announced plans to partner with The Texas A&M University System at the RELLIS Campus, formerly the Texas A&M Riverside Campus, and halted construction at 851 Harvey Mitchell Parkway. Blinn plans to build an academic facility on the RELLIS campus that will be very similar to the building designed for the previous location.

The change order decreased the contract from $38 million to an amount between $1.9 million and $2.3 million, and includes the amount paid to Vaughn Construction for work completed, the amount Vaughn Construction negotiated with subcontractors for stopping the project, and the amount to restore the site.

The board authorized Blinn administrators to negotiate and award professional services agreements with Kirksey Architecture for design and construction phase services, Terracon Consultants, Inc., for geotechnical design services, and Strong Surveying, LLC for surveying services related to Blinn’s construction of an academic facility or facilities at the RELLIS Campus. All three companies provided services at Blinn’s property at 851 Harvey Mitchell Parkway.

For more information regarding the RELLIS Campus, including a Frequently Asked Questions page, please visit: www.blinn.edu/expansion/RELLIS.html.