Blinn College Board of Trustees considers capital improvement projects

The Blinn College Board of Trustees discussed a variety of potential capital improvement projects during its regular board meeting Tuesday.

In 2015 and 2016, Blinn received $48.6 million in Washington County Junior College District Combined Fee Revenue Bonds. Blinn has spent or allocated $44.1 million of these funds for capital improvement projects in Brazos County, including construction of Blinn’s academic facility at The Texas A&M University System’s RELLIS Campus, renovations to the Blinn-Bryan Campus, and new facilities for Blinn’s Health Science, Veterinary Technology, and Dental Hygiene programs.

Of the $83.8 million in bonds Blinn has received since 2003, $61.8 million – 74 percent – has funded Brazos County projects.

On Tuesday, College administrators asked the board for guidance regarding the use of $4.5 million in remaining 2016 bond funds. The administration identified three projects for the board’s consideration – renovations to the Brenham Campus Student Center and W.L. Moody Library, and an expansion of the W.J. “Bill” Rankin Agricultural Complex.

Renovations at Moody Library would modernize the facility, which was built in 1967 and expanded in 1981. This project would include a revised collection space, reworked library spaces for modernized study environments, technology upgrades, updated furnishings, and HVAC and lighting upgrades.

Expansion of the Rankin Center would include the addition of a 6,000-square-foot livestock classroom building that would include classroom space, a tack room, a farrowing house, livestock pens, and a livestock chute for use by the College’s Agriculture Program. This program experienced a 14 percent growth in student enrollment this Fall, and the expansion would allow for 10-15 additional course sections each semester, including the addition of new livestock handling courses.

The Student Center renovations would include additional food serving areas and kitchen equipment upgrades, as well as green space, lighting, landscaping, and courtyard seating for students adjacent to the Student Center. The project also would include campus entrance and building identification signage.

Each of the three proposed projects are estimated to cost $1.5 million.