Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley Could Have New Community College Campuses
By Greg Enholm
Voters in East County as well as the entire County are likely to be able to vote for the construction of a Far East County 110-acre community college similar to Los Medanos College (LMC) or Diablo Valley College (DVC) and a related 17-acre satellite campus in the June 2014 election. On February 27, the Board of the Contra Costa Community College District directed the District’s staff to start the process for a new bond. County voters approved college bonds totaling $406 million in 2002 and 2006. The new buildings are very prominent on the LMC, DVC, and other campuses.
Now the months long process begins to decide exactly what will be funded. The elected five-member College Board will be meeting monthly to consider the specific projects. One project is to build a 17-acre satellite campus in southernmost Brentwood at Marsh Creek Road starting construction as early as 2015. Another is a 110-acre full community college for Far East County at a new eBART station. Start of construction of the college will depend on when the eBART station is to be built.
A 17-acre satellite campus in Brentwood will replace the small heavily-used Brentwood Center on Sand Creek Road. About 700 Antioch, 500 Oakley, 800 Brentwood, and hundreds of students from other communities take classes at the Brentwood Center, a converted grocery store opened in 2001, owned by the City of Brentwood. The new Brentwood Campus has been in the District’s planning process for years so construction could begin soon.
Having a new 110-acre community college located at a future eBART station will allow Far East County students who now go to DVC or LMC to complete their career training courses, associate degrees, certificates, or programs much closer to home. Students from high schools across the County would be able to attend classes in the evenings and on weekends without a car by using BART from stations near their homes. A new college will take decades to reach its full potential so additional bonds will be needed to fund construction of new buildings just as happened with DVC (opened in 1949) and LMC (opened in 1974).
Anyone who wants to comment on what should be included this June 2014 bond is encouraged to attend College Board meetings set to be held on Wednesday, March 27 at the District Office, 500 Court St, Martinez and on Wednesday, April 24 at the LMC Library, 2700 Leland Ave, Pittsburg. Comments can be emailed to the elected East County College Board Trustee at firstname.lastname@example.org. Detailed information about College Board meetings is available at http://www.4cd.edu/gb/agendas_minutes/default.aspx.
Projects for all 5 campuses including Contra Costa College in San Pablo and San Ramon Campus would be funded by the June 2014 bond.
Enholm is a DeVry University professor and represents Antioch as a Trustee on the Contra Costa Community College District Board. Send comments to email@example.com.