“This is great news,” wrote LMC Interim President Richard Livingston in a letter to district employees Monday. “It means additional financial resources for the college/center and is a crucial milestone on the way to development of a permanent center on our recently purchased property south of Brentwood.”
Since 2001, Pittsburg-based LMC has occupied about 20,000 square feet of a former grocery store on Sand Creek Road in Brentwood. With more than 2,500 students now being served out of the Brentwood location, the district is feeling the squeeze and has been working on building a new, bigger facility for several years.
In 2010, the district paid $4.8 million for 17 acres of undeveloped land near the intersection of Marsh Creek Road and Highway 4. Officials hope to break ground in 2015 on the 42,000-square-foot first phase, and ultimately expand the center to 84,000 square feet.
Monday’s announcement means LMC will be eligible for about $1 million more each year in state funding. As community college enrollment soars and four-year college costs skyrocket, the additional funding will be helpful. Added Livingston, “It is heartwarming to know that during tough financial times the future of community college education in far East County is looking up!”