As part of the deal, the Contra Costa County Community College District will trade its 38-acres in the former Cowell Ranch location with Brentwood Commercial Partners, LLC, for 15 acres of developable land north of the same spot. Since the proposed new site is in the Vineyards Pioneer subdivision, the college will pay $1.6 million to the city to satisfy the affordable-housing requirements.
The college’s current Brentwood site on Sand Creek Road will be absorbed into the new location. “We are very, very excited,” said LMC President Peter Garcia. “We are just packed into our current center and have just finished our third expansion. We definitely are looking for a place to grow.”
The new satellite campus 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.
Aside from the obvious benefits to LMC, as well as Brentwood Commercial Partners, the establishment of a permanent college site is also a financial boon to the city. “There is, of course, great potential for economic rewards for Brentwood in terms of the jobs it brings to the community,” said Brentwood Economic Development Director Casey McCann. “And the spin-off effect is that you have several hundreds of people coming to town and spending their money on supplies and food.
“Having Los Medanos here in Brentwood has already been a true benefit to the community, and when the district told us last year that they needed a permanent site – that their current location was not going to meet their long-term needs – everyone at the city made it a top priority to help.”
The college’s selection of the Brentwood site was the result of a lengthy search for appropriate properties in East County that could accommodate the district’s requirements. The college district received 17 proposals for sites in Brentwood, Oakley, Antioch and surrounding unincorporated areas.
“We believed this location was the best for our needs and we think this is a great opportunity for the college and the community,” said Garcia. “We look forward to the process going through.”
Garcia added that he hopes to put the new property in escrow some time this summer pending the permit and application process and an evaluation of the existing Environmental Impact Report (EIR). EIRs were previously done on both properties, but whether the anticipated environmental impacts are consistent with the proposed switches has yet to be determined. If they are not compatible, further studies might be required.
Regardless, said McCann, the move will be beneficial.
“We’ll see how it (EIR process) goes, but either way it is an exciting development for the city to have LMC commit to their future here with us, and we look forward to working with them.”