New Brentwood Center long overdue

Jesse Reeves , Guest Columnist

Any student who frequents the LMC Brentwood Center can tell you how charming and warm it is. Since its opening in 2001, the Brentwood campus has provided some of the best community college education in the country for people in the area. However, over the years, what was once a fully functional college campus has become technologically outdated, overcrowded and outgrown on many levels. But something long overdue is said to be arriving and is doing so just in time: the new Brentwood Center.

In 2016, plans and funding that had been in talks since as early as 2006 were approved to build the much-needed extension to the Brentwood Center. The campus has broken ground and is located just off Highway 4 on a 17.5 acre lot in the southeastern hills of rural Brentwood. The new campus is expected to be a 55,000 square foot structure when entirely finished in spring 2020. The current Brentwood campus is 22,000 square feet, so that is nearly 35,000 square feet of extra space in the new campus, and the students of LMC Brentwood deserve every last foot of it.

Much of the reasoning behind these expansion plans were the ever growing student population of the Brentwood campus. Per, when the Brentwood campus first opened up in 2001, enrollment was just 667. In 2018, that number has jumped up to a whopping 3,000 students enrolled at the Brentwood campus.

The addition of increased student parking will be among the biggest perks for current and incoming students. As many know, classes between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the current Brentwood campus can be difficult to navigate. During high traffic hours, it can be dangerous for students entering the building who walk among the parking lots to get to class. Increased parking will help alleviate these issues.

The increase in student population also brings the need for more academic courses. Many students currently attending the Brentwood campus can be limited in their course selection, especially for science-based classes. The expansion will allow students living closer to the Brentwood campus the advantage of not having to take courses in Pittsburg for lack of course availability. It will be incredibly convenient for the entire Brentwood student body.

Parking and extended course opportunity are two obvious benefits coming with the new campus in 2020. But one underrated addition will be much-needed technological advances inside the classroom as well as around campus. Many students and teachers know that the WiFi and internet are sometimes unreliable. I believe this is one large focal point with the new campus, as communication, student access and network reliability are becoming more of a factor in student learning.

Our dear Brentwood campus has been a home to us for 18 years. It has served many past and current students as a vessel to achieve their academic dreams. Just as students have learned to grow inside the walls of our campus, LMC has also learned that it must grow to accommodate the need for student success. With such need comes greater opportunity for LMC to open its doors to better and brighter futures for its faculty and staff; something that this new campus will do with all it looks to offer. The expansion has been long overdue but couldn’t come at a better time. It’s time to get excited for the future of academics, Mustangs.