In January 2016, a meeting was held at the Blinn College campus in Brenham, Texas. Those in attendance included USDA Rural Development, Blinn College, and Raymond James Financial Group. The purpose was to discuss the financing and construction of a new dormitory for the Blinn Brenham campus.
The Blinn campus had a capacity of 1,326 beds with a waitlist of 534 students in the Fall of 2015.. Since 2013, the waiting list was growing by more than 15% per year and the trend seemed to be continuing. The need for additional on campus housing was painfully obvious. The last new dormitory construction was prior to 1975.
In the joint meeting, a discussion to create a public- private partnership was held and thus an application by NCCD-Blinn College Properties was completed and submitted. With interim financing, arranged by Raymond James Financial Group, Servitas as project manager and a completed environmental report , USDA Community Facilities program funds in the amount of $32,985,000 were obligated in August 2017. Construction began and in spite of some weather delays a grand opening of the new Mill Creek Residence Hall was held on August 17, 2018. The waiting list for Mill Creek has as many students on it as the students currently residing there.
The students who live in this dormitory are in a Pre-Engineering program that is in partnership with Texas A & M University. They students can transfer to Texas A & M when they complete two years of engineering courses at Blinn College.
USDA’s Community Facilities Program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural communities. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of a community in a primarily rural area. Eligible applicants include public bodies, community based nonprofit corporations and federally recognized tribes.
Contact your local USDA Office for more information.