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Blinn trustees authorize guaranteed maximum price for new Phase II RELLIS Campus building

Board also approves purchase of equipment for the new Brenham Campus science, technology, engineering, and innovation building

January 20, 2021

At its regular January meeting on Tuesday, the Blinn College District Board of Trustees authorized the College to negotiate and execute a guaranteed maximum price for a new Phase II academic building on the RELLIS Campus and to purchase equipment for the science, technology, engineering, and innovation building on the Brenham Campus.

The RELLIS Phase II academic building, a three-story, 80,000-square-foot facility located north of the Walter C. Schwartz Building, will position Blinn for continued growth at the RELLIS Campus. As the community college partner in the RELLIS Academic Alliance, Blinn offers foundational courses at the RELLIS Campus that seamlessly apply toward the related bachelor’s degrees offered by The Texas A&M University System regional universities and Stephen F. Austin State University. In Fall 2018, Blinn opened the Schwartz Building with 1,515 students, and Fall 2020 enrollment subsequently has grown to exceed 2,700 students.

The Phase II facility will feature an engineering lab, computer science classroom, information technology lab, esports arena, student services suite, 19 lecture classrooms, study spaces, faculty and administrative suites, and meeting rooms. The project also includes faculty/staff and visitor parking, sidewalks, pedestrian lighting, a circular entry drive, and a plaza.

Construction is scheduled to begin in February, with a substantial completion target of May 2022. The facility will open for student use in time for the Fall 2022 semester.

Trustees also authorized the College to negotiate and execute a contract with VWR for furniture, fixtures, and equipment for the science, technology, engineering, and innovation building currently under construction on the Brenham Campus.

Three stories tall and spanning 72,000 square feet, the new building will feature 17,000 square feet of laboratory space and a 3,000-square-foot innovation center that will include a 3D printing lab, soldering space, robotics area, and a space where students can work with interrelated computing devices. The innovation lab also will include a virtual reality space and a high-tech fabrication shop where students can use laser cutters to make precisely fitted materials.

The new facility also will include anatomy and physiology, biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, information technology, microbiology, nursing, organic chemistry, and physics labs. On the roof, students will have access to a weather station where they can monitor and gauge local weather.

In other action, trustees ordered a May 1, 2021 general election for trustee positions representing Precincts 1 and 4. Both positions serve six-year terms. The board also authorized the College to negotiate and execute an elections services contract with Washington County, to negotiate and execute agreements with local government entities for joint elections on May 1, and to set the date, time, and place for drawings to determine the order of candidates for the same position to appear on the ballot.

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