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Los Medanos College opened its Brentwood Center campus at 1351 Pioneer Square with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, May 4.
“A permanent location for the Los Medanos College Brentwood Center has been years in the planning, and today we ceremoniously perform the ribbon cutting for this site of educational and career opportunities for thousands of East County students for decades to come,” said LMC President Dr. Bob Kratochvil.
The 17.5-acre property was purchased by the Contra Costa Community College District in 2011. Ratcliff Architects designed the new campus, and Balfour Beatty Construction built it. At 55,000 square feet, it is more than double the size of the former, leased Brentwood location that LMC had occupied. The construction budget was about $65 million, and was funded by Bond measures A, passed in 2006, and E, passed in 2014.
“We have doubled our classroom space in comparison to our previous facility, expanded the student study spaces both indoors and outdoors and increased administrative spaces for Student Services so that more departments can have a designated space to serve students,” said Dr. Tanisha Maxwell, Vice President of Student Services.
The new center is designed to accommodate up to 5,000 students. Some highlights of the new, single-story building include 15 instructional classrooms, 4 science labs, library resources, computer lab, student bookstore, and food services. There is also a “Student Commons” area, which provides space for gathering/learning outside of the classroom, according to a press release.
The Brentwood Center was completed and ready for use in September 2021, but a portion of the building flooded and had to remain closed due to a break in the irrigation system from a neighboring housing subdivision. The repairs, which included drywall repair and paint, replacement of flooring and carpet tiles, and the purchase and installation of damaged casework, furniture, and IT equipment, cost between $250,000 and $350,000.
LMC is one of three colleges in the district, along with Diablo Valley and Contra Costa Colleges. It has served the east Contra Costa County area since 1974, offering award-winning transfer and career education programs, support services, and diverse academic opportunities in an inclusive learning environment, according to the college’s website.
Students attending the Brentwood Center can take all the required credit courses to satisfy the following degrees:
- A.A. Liberal Arts: Arts/Humanities
- A.A. Liberal Arts: Behavioral/Social Science
- A.A. Liberal Arts: Math/Science
- A.S. Biological Science
- A.S. Math
“Los Medanos College has been providing exceptional academics and training to students in our service area since 1974, approaching 50 years.” said Kratochvil. “In the last handful of those years, LMC has been recognized four consecutive times by the Aspen Institute as one of the top 150 community colleges in the United States.”
Earlier in April, a separate ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the main LMC campus in Pittsburg to celebrate the opening of the new Student Union and Kinesiology buildings. The buildings had been finished in 2019, but the grand opening was put on hold because of complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
The Kinesiology Center not only houses a weight room, dance studio, and fitness center, available for use by both athletes and students, but it also holds a state-of-the-art training room, complete with cryotherapy, therapeutic ultrasound, and more. The new Student Union building includes an all new bookstore, cafe, and several different meeting and lounge spaces.