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BISD Partners with City of Burleson & Hill College to establish a higher education facility located at BCHS facility

Burleson ISD Partners with the City of Burleson and Hill College on Beautification of the Burleson Collegiate High School Property to Create a Higher Education Facility

Hill College and Texas Tech University relocate, providing local students the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in Burleson at the higher education facility 

October 26, 2020  – The Burleson Independent School District (BISD) announces a partnership with the City of Burleson and Hill College to relocate its higher education facility to the Burleson Collegiate High School (BCHS) facility, providing students the opportunity to attend college and earn a bachelor’s degree in Burleson, Texas. 

BISD’s renovations and improvements to BCHS’s facility, formerly Kerr Middle School, is the final project to be completed using funds allocated by the Facilities Advisory Committee in the BISD Bond package approved by voters in May 2017. 

Per the agreement, the City of Burleson City Council and Mayor Ken Shetter approved a $1 million contribution to the design and renovation costs for the beautification of the property for long-term economic development and higher education. Hill College will enter a long-term lease agreement in 2022 with BISD to utilize the facility, paying the district rent for its facility use. 

In partnership with Hill College, Texas Tech University will also move to the higher education facility with plans to expand its degree offerings. Students attending BCHS and Hill College may continue attending college locally, working toward their bachelor’s degree through Texas Tech University at Hill College.  

“Students of BCHS will experience a college environment, as intended at the school’s inception,” said BISD Superintendent Dr. Bret Jimerson, “This partnership provides BISD an opportunity to use the full capacity of our campus while greatly benefiting our students.” 

During an audit of BISD facilities, architects determined portions of the facility have several years of useful life remaining. 

“I’m grateful that our advisory committee considered the architect’s recommendation and allocated  financial resources to keep this building useful for BISD,” added Jimerson. 

Enhancements to the facility will include a new facade and exterior signage to identify the school building and entrance. Interior upgrades and renovations include a student union space, courtyard and outdoor area where students may eat, study or spend time. 

For several years, the City of Burleson has worked to expand the higher education opportunities that, when combined with the Burleson Opportunity Fund and BISD’s collegiate high school, will ensure every graduate in Burleson has access to higher education. 

“This is the culmination of a long and very successful partnership between Hill College, the City and BISD,” said Mayor Shetter. “An upgraded facility is a benefit to the City and to the community at large. I think it’s important the building will have a good face on it for the viability of marketing a college community and college culture, which is important for us from a community and economic development perspective.” 

The Hill College Center has been in Burleson since December 2005, allowing area residents to conveniently take college courses, complete degrees, receive job-related certifications and enjoy continuing education classes closer to home. In 2016, BISD partnered with Hill College to establish BCHS, offering students the opportunity to earn an associate degree at no cost to the student, funded by BISD, while earning their high school diploma. 

“Hill College has a longstanding partnership with BISD, and this agreement enables us to increase enrollment to meet the needs of the Burleson-area community,” said Hill College President Dr. Pam Boehm. 

Director for Texas Tech University at Hill College Lewis Snell said, “the partnership with Hill College has continued to grow each year, and we are excited to be a part of the expansion in Burleson.”

“Providing higher education opportunities in Burleson enables students to live and work locally while earning their associates and bachelor’s degrees, and produces a more educated workforce in Burleson as the local economy continues to broaden and diversify,” said Jimerson.  

Burleson Collegiate High School is located at 517 SW Johnson Street, occupying the 100 Building as its own school. The facility updates and upgrades were designed by Stantec Architecture.