“This is big for us, and we are obviously very excited to have the opportunity to have a new site that’s bigger, and better able to serve the needs of the community,” said Tim Leong, communications and community relations director for the Contra Costa Community College District. “This is great news.”
The district’s governing board recently authorized the purchase of 18 acres near Marsh Creek Road for a satellite campus, and hopes to open escrow and begin work on the supplemental Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in the next few weeks.
The new satellite campus, which will absorb the college’s current site on Sand Creek Road, will include, among other features, labs, classrooms and counseling offices, but will not provide for athletic fields or a performing arts center such as those at the main Pittsburg campus.
The City of Brentwood gave the green light to Los Medanos College to pursue the project with a group of local developers for the construction of a new campus in February, but because the site was changed from the original 2004 agreement of a different 29-acre site nearby to the more accessible Pioneer Square location, amendments to the original agreement between the city and the developers needed to be ironed out.
“Basically what is happening is that in 2004, when the Vineyards was established, there was a deal between the developers and the city about how it would be built out,” said Casey McCann, Brentwood community development director. “Today that agreement is out of date and not consistent with today’s market values and needed to be adjusted to make it all possible.”
The changes include the removal of an obligation by the city to build 100 affordable housing apartments at Pioneer Square at the Vineyards. Now, when LMC purchases the 18 acres and escrow closes, $1.6 million will go to the City of Brentwood toward future affordable housing projects.
“This (amendment) will go a long way toward clearing the way for LMC, but there is still a lot of work to be done,” said McCann. “It is, however, a good first step.”
Leong agreed. “In this business, anything can happen in this day and age when finances are more challenging, but we’re very excited to get things going.”
The Brentwood Planning Commission will bring the proposed recommendations to the Brentwood City Council on Dec. 14.
According to a press release from the community college district, the purchase price of the parcel is $4.8 million, which includes the donation of acreage from the original 29-acre site. Measure A 2006 bond funds will be used to purchase the site.