Brentwood Center celebrated with ribbon-cutting

LMC honors its newest addition.


Michael Benedian

Mojdeh Mehdizadeh, Bob Kratochvil cut the ribbon with one pair of scissors while Judy Walters cuts the ribbon with another pair.

Michael Benedian, Staff WriterBrentwood Center celebrates with ribbon-cutting

Los Medanos College celebrated its new campus in Brentwood and its development with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Similar to the Student Union and Kinesiology buildings on the Pittsburg campus, the Brentwood Center was unable to have a proper opening at the start of the pandemic due to the Contra Costa Community College District ordering all campuses under the district to remain closed for safety. Not only that, the Brentwood Center would also suffer a flooding incident in the fall of 2021 which would halt its celebratory opening even further.

Despite all that, LMC was finally able to hold their ceremony Wednesday, May 4, to thank everyone who made it possible for the new campus to be built. Natalie Hannum, Vice President of Instruction, is relieved that it all came together.

“It’s a long time coming,” Hannum said. “It was a beautiful day to celebrate and it culminates a lot of people’s efforts so it feels very joyous.”

Previous speakers like LMC President Bob Kratochvil and Los Medanos College Associated Students President Luisa Velazquez spoke at the celebration and gave their heartfelt thanks to the people involved with the development of the Brentwood Center. There were also some new faces, such as Governing Board member Andy Li, LMC classified professional Annica Soto and LMC professor Matt Stricker, who both work in the Brentwood Center.

“How incredible [it is] to move from a Lucky’s grocery store to this incredible facility,” CCCCD Chancellor Mojdeh Mehdizadeh said. “It is truly a new day at the Brentwood Campus of the Los Medanos College.”

Soto shared her perspective on watching the Brentwood Center go from being crammed into a shopping center to having its own space. She discussed her time working there in 2006 and hearing about the first steps being made in the planning for the development Brentwood Center.

“Looking back, I’ve had the privilege to see the Brentwood Center grow and flourish throughout the years,” said Soto. “We continue to welcome and serve communities living in the far parts of Contra Costa County and we continue to inspire and motivate students on their journeys toward success.”

After the speeches were given, visitors were invited to take a tour of the facilities on the Brentwood Campus or to explore on their own. Director of Admissions Rikki Hall led the tour and spoke about the many rooms that were toured to the visitors, with the visitors being satisfied to see the campus thriving and in great condition.

“The Brentwood Center just grew like crazy,” Stricker said. “It really helped push growth throughout the entire district and it’s really been a great place for our students in the far east county to come here and learn.”

Despite setbacks such as the pandemic and the flooding incident, the Brentwood Center bounced back and has shaped up to be a welcome addition for LMC and the communities in Contra Costa County. From being next to a grocery department to having its own space dedicated for learning, it’s another step for LMC and its mission to provide communities with access to education and to empower students to achieve their goals.