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Blinn College District plans new administration building in Bryan, selling land on Leonard Road to Bryan ISD

The college hopes their plans will address congestion at their Bryan campus.
Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 5:03 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2021 at 6:19 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Blinn College is planning a large investment in Bryan. At Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting they took the first step to move forward with building a new administration building in Bryan.

The estimated budget for it is $30 million and they hope the changes will help address congestion near campus. They hope to have that project finished by 2023.

Blinn plans to turn the former Rivergate Church property on Villa Maria Road near Nash Street into their future administration building.

“In that building we will house functions, administrative functions, student services, human resources, police department, marketing and public information and other services,” said Dr. Mary Hensley, Blinn College Chancellor.

Hensley said they hope moving their offices from the south end of the Bryan campus will help address congestion in the area.

“That leaves the south end, the central part of the campus, just for instruction for students then that means that they wont have to navigate the parking lot so much... What we’re trying to do with that campus to keep that enrollment at a maximum of no more than 9,500 students. We are purposely trying to reduce the enrollment at that campus,” she said.

The Blinn Board is also authorizing the sale of 95 acres on Leonard Road to Bryan ISD for more than $4.5 million.

“And I think it’s a win-win for us because it was property that we no longer needed because of our investment at the RELLIS Campus. At the same time Bryan ISD was looking for a place for our transportation and maintenance,” said Chancellor Hensley.

“It’ll be a great artery to get all over the district through many ways with our buses,” said Dr. Christie Whitbeck, Bryan ISD Superintendent.

She met with KBTX on her last day with the district before heading to a new job as the head of Fort Bend ISD.

She says they hope to have that new transportation and maintenance center open in 2023.

“Also that we will have about half of that land left over. It can be used for a potential school, even up to middle school size,” said Whitbeck.

Blinn College also plans to stop leasing space at the Tejas Center once they have that expansion on Villa Maria Road. They’re also making plans for intramural fields near that former church property.

Blinn College also gave an update on their enrollment at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Districtwide enrollment dipped 5.2 percent. Here in Brazos County Blinn registered 6,142 students on the Bryan Campus, 4,258 in online classes, and 2,751 on the RELLIS Campus.

They have 1,823 on the Brenham Campus, 1,593 in high school dual credit, 68 on the Schulenburg Campus, and 38 at the Sealy Campus.

”The last 18 months have had an impact on Blinn and probably many of the institutions of higher education. Last year we dropped about 6 percent, slightly over. And this year we dropped 5.2 percent,” said Hensley.

We have Blinn’s Master Plan site here.

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