Blinn board approves financing for Brenham student housing project

BRENHAM, Tex. (KBTX)- The Blinn College Board of Trustees approved a second resolution authorizing financing for the college’s Brenham campus privatized student housing project during its meeting Monday, March 27.

In February 2016, the board approved a resolution authorizing Blinn administrators to engage in a public/private partnership for the construction of a new student housing facility on the Brenham Campus. The project, located at the corner of Saeger Street and Old Mill Creek Road, will house approximately 465 students and be funded by National Campus and Community Development (NCCD)-Blinn College Properties, LLC, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established to provide tax-exempt financing specifically for this project.

Blinn and NCCD-Blinn College Properties will enter into a 40-year ground lease, and upon repayment by NCCD, the facility will revert to Blinn.

Under Blinn’s February 2016 resolution, long-term financing for the project would be procured through a direct loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. However, due to federal budget uncertainties, the approval and funding process for the USDA loan has been delayed.

Under the March 27 resolution, the Board of Trustees approved a financial commitment of up to $2 million in order to secure favorable interim financing terms for the construction of the project. That interim financing will be repaid from the proceeds of the USDA loan at a later date or, if the USDA loan is not available, from the proceeds of one or more series of long-term revenue bonds issued by the New Hope Cultural Education Faculties Finance Corporation. The interim financing will allow Blinn to complete the student housing facility in time for the Fall 2018 semester.

The addition of new student housing on the Blinn-Brenham Campus is expected to make an immediate impact on campus enrollment. The campus currently houses 1,326 students, more than any other community college in the state. Despite this, approximately 925 students were placed on the housing waiting list last fall.