Media Center
  • Wednesday, October 21, 2015
    Blinn board approves first steps towards rec center, hears $10 million bonding presentation
    The Blinn College board of trustees authorized the college’s administration to seek out professionals to begin surveying, soil testing and platting the location of the newly approved Kruse Recreation Center at Tuesday’s meeting.
    The item was approved unanimously with the exception of trustee Richard Powell, who abstained from the vote.

    According to Richard O’Malley, the college’s executive director of Facilities, Planning and Construction, the services will cost between $25,000-$30,000 as part of the “soft costs” of the project, and Blinn will be working with a local surveying company.
    A 36,000-square-foot facility that will serve primarily as a student recreation and activities facility as well as host Buccaneer volleyball and basketball games, construction of the Kruse Center on the Brenham campus was approved by the board at a special meeting on Oct. 5.
    The total project cost for the center is just shy of $11.5 million.
    Trustees were also given a presentation by Steven Adams, managing director of Specialized Public Finance, who detailed a plan calling for the sale of a $10 million bank-qualified bond in 2015 and a non-bank qualified bond in 2016 to help fund the cost of the college’s new campus in Bryan located at FM 2818 and Leonard Road.
    The sale of the bank-qualified bond would save the college approximately $180,000 in interest and fees compared to a stand-alone non-bank qualified issuance, as bank-qualified bonds have a lower interest than non-bank qualified, tax-exempt bonds but are capped at $10 million per year, according to Adams.
    The college has put a ceiling on the debt it is willing to incur for the Bryan campus at $50 million. O’Malley said that preliminary design and construction costs for the campus have come out to around $35.9 million with another $6-7 million expected in “soft costs.”
    “A little over $42 million is what we’re estimating the project to be at this time,” O’Malley said.
    The plan currently is to allow the board to consider authorizing the $10 million bond sale at its November meeting. The bonds would be awarded to the winning bidder and closed on Dec. 15.
    The board was scheduled to approve its ninth agenda item — authorizing brokers/dealers and financial institutions for investment purposes as required by Government Code 2256.025 — as a consent agenda item, but board vice president Douglas Borchardt felt voting would represent a conflict of interest and abstained from a separate vote on the item, which was approved.
    In other business, the board approved the following consent agenda items:
    • Adopted a records management program resolution, records management officer designation and a declaration of compliance for records retention schedules for the Blinn College District.
    • Nominated by resolution candidates for membership on the board of directors for the Washington County Tax Appraisal District to serve a two-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2016.
    • Adopted a resolution declaring the board has reviewed the board’s investment policies and investment strategies and reaffirmed each as provided in board policies CAK (legal and local): appropriations and revenue sources — investments.