From fall 2003 to fall of last year, enrollment at Blinn College in Brenham dropped 5%. Blinn College President, Don Voelter suspects part of the decrease has to do with facilities. Resident Halls top the list for needed improvements.
"Our debt capacity is almost at the limit, so as a result we need to go out and find someone else to use their debt, their money to construct the facilities," said Voelter.
Money constraints have the administration thinking of hiring an independent contractor to design, construct, and possibly manage a new student housing complex.
The over 100 year old campus has 14 dormitories, some as old as 30 years. Furniture and bathrooms need to be modernized, and heat and air conditioning systems need to be upgraded.
"We've had a problem over there with mold because the ventilation system is real bad and seeps to all the rooms and everybody gets sick," said on-campus resident Ross Roark.
But, Voelter wants the best for the campus and it's students.
There are 1100 beds on campus, but theres the possibility of adding 300 to 500 more. Administration is looking at developing a request for proposal to build the new dormitory. Voelter said a contractor will need to do a feasibility study. Administration wants to know if a 300 bed dorm is financially worth while, or if renovating old student housing is a better alternative. Discussions are in the beginning stages, but the need is urgent.
"Just like any other business we have competitors, so it's important to us what our competitors are doing so that we're able to compete," said Voelter.
Blinn College demonstrates excellence in the classroom and expects the same in the dorm room.