Resident: New Blinn Campus, Same Old Story

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas - A woman says she moved from Bryan to College Station to get away from the traffic nightmare Blinn College caused in her neighborhood, only to be faced with the same problem years later.

Emerald Forest resident Cheryl Wenk said she was pregnant with her first child nearly 20 years ago when Blinn College officials were considering a location in Bryan just off Villa Maria.

"There were a lot of meetings about how the development would be, I guess to put the neighborhoods and people who lived in those areas at ease," said Wenk.

Wenk said what Blinn officials promised and what they delivered were two different things.

"They're still dealing with that traffic issue," said Wenk.

Now that Blinn is considering a new campus at the Lyntech facility just off Highway 6 near Southwest Parkway, Wenk said she's ready to fight.

"Once it's an issue and the players are out of the picture, it's yours to deal with," said Wenk.

Wenk said the single entrance and exit to the Lyntech facility would cause heavy traffic congestion along the Highway 6 feeder road., and students would likely cut through nearby neighborhoods like hers to get to school.

"None of the board of trustees live in this county, they all live in Washington County," said Wenk. "They don't know what it's like. I feel like it's a band-aid location. It's not good for long-term growth."

Wenk said the college could never grow because it's landlocked by two churches and a neighborhood in the back.

Blinn officials said the ready-made building and parking spaces, as well as working lab rooms that would cost more than $200k each to build, are a very good selling point for the College Station location.

Meanwhile, Bryan Mayor and Blinn College Alum Jason Bienski said he'd love to see a new campus in Bryan.

"Blinn is Bryan. Blinn is our family," said Bienski.

There's no ready-made building at their proposed location just off Old Reliance Road across from Rudder High School, but Bienski said it has a lot going for it, including 50 free acres of land with the possibility to purchase 50 more.

"The City of Bryan has invested millions in infrastructure improvements out here. With the widening of Old Reliance Road, the overpass that millions went in to on Highway 6, and water and sewer that's provided to the property," said Bienski. "And there's hundreds of acres around there that's also available for future development for residential, retail, restaurants, for book stores, anything that could compliment Blinn College."

Blinn board of trustee members took no action on the campus location at last week's meeting, and Blinn officials said no other talks about the location have been scheduled. The school has until the end of July to make a decision.