Blinn College’s board of trustees at its June meeting approved proceeding with the construction of a second building on the RELLIS campus.
The three story, 75,000 square foot building will be located next to Blinn’s Schwartz building.
The new structure, which will include 36 classrooms, labs, and student services offices, is expected to double the 2,500 Blinn students enrolled last fall at RELLIS.
Construction is expected to begin next February and be completed in time for the start of the fall 2022 semester.
Blinn trustees expressed no opposition to considering at a future meeting, paying for the more than $32 million dollar building from some combination of bond financing and cash reserves.
Chancellor Mary Hensley says there will be no additional employees, and Blinn will keep a student services office at the Tejas Center in Bryan until space is created on the 29th and Villa Maria campus.
Click below for comments from the June 16, 2020 Blinn College trustees meeting.
Additional information from Blinn College:
The Blinn College District Board of Trustees has authorized the College to proceed with the design of a Phase II building on the RELLIS Campus.
Trustees also authorized the College to request proposals for construction manager at risk services for the facility.
Blinn has been a partner with The Texas A&M University System at the RELLIS Campus since Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp announced the cutting-edge initiative in 2016. As a member of the RELLIS Academic Alliance, Blinn provides freshman- and sophomore-level courses for students at the RELLIS Campus, allowing them to seamlessly complete their bachelor’s degrees in related fields from one of the Texas A&M System regional universities also located on site.
At RELLIS, students can pursue bachelor’s degrees in high-demand fields such as agribusiness, biology, business, communication, computer information systems, computer science, criminal justice, electrical engineering, health science, mechanical engineering, public administration, social work, and water resources science and technology.
In August 2018, Blinn opened its first facility at RELLIS, the Walter C. Schwartz Building, and welcomed more than 1,500 students in its inaugural Fall semester. Last Fall, more than 2,500 Blinn students enrolled at RELLIS. In response to that enrollment growth, at its February 2020 meeting the board approved the hire of Gensler, a global architecture, design, and planning firm, to provide programming for a new Phase II building.
Through that process, Blinn and Gensler developed a programming plan that provides for a three-story, 75,000-square-foot building that will be located just north of the Schwartz Building. The facility will include classrooms, engineering/computer science labs, faculty offices, student services spaces, student gathering spaces, a micro-market vending area, administrative spaces, and a large meeting room.
Construction would begin in February 2021 and be completed in time for the College to offer classes in the facility in Fall 2022.