The Blinn College District officially opened its state-of-the-art, 72,000-square-foot Science, Technology, Engineering, and Innovation (STEI) Building on the Blinn College-Brenham Campus Friday with a special grand opening ceremony on Friday, Aug. 27.
The ceremony included remarks from Blinn Chancellor Mary Hensley, State Sen. Lois W. Kolkhorst, Blinn Board Chair Jim Kolkhorst, Blinn Board Secretary and former Board Chair Charles Moser, and Blinn College Foundation Board Chair Sam Sommer, among others.
The $35.5 million facility marks the largest single capital improvement investment in the history of the Blinn-Brenham Campus and the first new academic building constructed on the campus since 2011.
“From computer technology and cybersecurity to engineering and healthcare, Blinn’s talented faculty will use this facility to train students in the careers that define our future,” Hensley said.
During the ceremony, Blinn officials announced that the Natural and Physical Sciences Suite, located on the second and third floors of the building, would be named in recognition of Atwood Kenjura, who served on the College’s Board of Trustees from 1976 until 2019. Kenjura’s 43 years on the board marks the longest tenure in the College’s 138-year history and includes seven terms as board chair, four as vice-chair, and two as board secretary.
“Atwood was particularly pleased to approve the construction of this facility during his final year on the Board of Trustees,” Moser said. “I can think of no better way to honor his more than four decades of service to Blinn College than with the naming of the Natural and Physical Sciences Suite in a building he was proud to support.”
The STEI Building will host classes in anatomy and physiology, biology, chemistry, computer science, cybersecurity, engineering, geology, information technology, microbiology, nursing, organic chemistry, and physics. It features 17,000 square feet of laboratory space as well as a 3,000-square-foot innovation center.
Designed to accommodate hands-on curricula for Blinn’s Associate of Science in Engineering and the Texas A&M Engineering Academy at Blinn-Brenham co-enrollment program, the 1,449-square-foot engineering technology laboratory features open space for robot construction and experimentation, as well as specialized engineering equipment, including a state-of-the-art process automation and pumps teaching system.
The second floor features the Betswest Foundation and Sally Blackie-Sengel Health Sciences Suite, which includes a nursing classroom and simulation and skills laboratories that will be used by Blinn’s Vocational Nursing and Licensed Vocational Nursing-Transition programs. In the nursing skills lab, students will gain hands-on experience in 10 simulation bays as well as an adjacent nurses’ station and debrief conference room.
On the second floor, the Atwood Kenjura Natural and Physical Sciences Suite features biology laboratories. On the third floor, this space features an organic chemistry and chemistry dual laboratory, microbiology lab, and two anatomy and physiology labs that are adjoined by a 533-square-foot prep room with a walk-in cooler.
The third floor also includes an outdoor terrace. Complete with spacious seating and power and wifi connectivity, this space features a weather station to gauge and monitor local weather.
Blinn’s fall semester begins Monday, Aug. 30, and registration is available through Sunday. Fall 12-week classes begin Sept. 27 and fall second 8-week classes begin Oct. 25. Registration for both 12- and 8-week courses run until the day prior to the first day of the term. For more information, visit www.blinn.edu.
About the Blinn College District
With innovative programs and award-winning co-enrollment partnerships, Blinn’s academic transfer rate ranks No. 1 among Texas community colleges. Courses are available online and at five Central Texas campuses, and students save 43% in tuition and fees compared to the average state university. For more information, visit www.blinn.edu.