From the ground up

Robert Pierce,

Construction on the new Los Medanos College Brentwood Campus is slated to formally begin April 18 with a groundbreaking ceremony. Located at 1351 Pioneer Square near the Trilogy housing development, construction will start ahead of schedule of a later planned date of July 2018 given by an LMC webpage.

“The groundbreaking ceremony on April 18 will provide LMC students, employees, and community members the opportunity to celebrate what has been in the planning stages for many years,” LMC President Bob Kratochvil stated. “Construction of the new Brentwood Center is long-awaited by residents of East Contra Costa County, and the groundbreaking ceremony certainly is a momentous occasion for all of us at LMC.”

The current Brentwood Center on Sand Creek is only a leased building; the new Brentwood Center will be a permanent and State Chancellor’s Office approved “Off-Site Educational Center” according to a Frequently Asked Questions document on the LMC website.

The construction has been divided into Phase I and Phase II due to funding concerns. Phase II has yet to be fully designed or funded, but Phase I involves a 55,000 square feet building on the north side of the land parcel with approximately 30,000 square feet of parking space, which will offer “expanded faculty/staff offices, science labs, tutorial labs, library resources, linger and learn space, bookstore and food service, and instructional classrooms” according to the website, and is funded via Bond Measure E, approved in 2014 by Contra Costa County voters. The center is currently estimated to be open for operations during the Spring 2020 semester, and will offer classes in over 25 disciplines including Administration of Justice, Biology, Drama and Political Science “as well as new subjects not currently offered, such as Chemistry” according to the Frequently Asked Questions document.

The process has not been without controversy, however. While the Contra Costa Community College District Governing Board approved the site near Trilogy by a 4-1 vote, vocal opposition came from Ward V Trustee Greg Enholm, who voted against the site in 2014 and has continued to argue for an alternative location at the Mokeloumne Trail/Highway 4 e-BART station since, stating that it would be easier to access for LMC students in Oakley and parts of Brentwood.

“It would certainly be more convenient for any student in Oakley to go to the Mokeloumne e-BART,” he stated. “We’re trading off a new building with lots of parking for being inconvenient… and the four other board members decided that was unimportant.”

LMC student and Oakley resident and city council candidate, Mike Dupray, agrees that a lack of transportation is an issue with the Trilogy location, and prefers the Mokeloumne option.

“That would have made more sense to me, it’s closer for Oakley,” he stated. “Most of the students that go to that Brentwood extension are north of the Trilogy site. It also made more sense to me, because they had 20 or 30 acres to work with and they could have combined that with the BART station in order to make transit really easy and simple… If it were me, I would have picked the Mokeloumne Trail site and I would have been patient and waited for the better deal.”

While the location will most likely not be changing, the concerns that the two voiced did not fall on deaf ears: LMC has worked with Tri Delta Transit to provide public transportation to the Trilogy site once it opens.

“Tri Delta Transit will operate express bus service to the new Brentwood campus once it is completed,” Director of Marketing for Tri Delta Transit Mike Furnay said. “Express Route 202 will provide direct service from the Brentwood Park & Ride to the campus. Transfers to Route 202 will be possible from four weekday routes at the Brentwood Park & Ride.”

The four weekday routes are 300, 385, 391 and 384 a new route starting May of this year. It is not entirely certain when the routes will begin including the Brentwood Campus, but Furnay expects it to coincide with the opening. Plans for additional routes beyond 202 do not currently exist, but Furnay states, “We constantly evaluate and re-evaluate our service and the needs of the area/community”.

For more information on the construction of the campus and how it will operate after it launches, visit