Letter writer supports Brentwood college site, opposes Enholm for college board for supporting Antioch or Oakley location

The existing Brentwood Center is costing $68,000 a month and its location is not suitable as it sits in a high density retail establishment.

The new center is planned to be completed and open approximately September, 2020 to support student needs in a 17-acre environment in the Trilogy/Marsh Creek Road location.

I support the Governing Board’s decision to go ahead with the center as part of phased plan for enrollment with the first phase planned to support forecasted enrollment with a future phase to increase capacity as enrollment increases.

The initial facilities that are being constructed will provide what is required for the existing student population and is not expected to reach capacity for many years, at which point the 2nd phase of the project will be reviewed for additional construction. This is a smart approach as it ensures that the costs are aligned with the needs of students when it opens and for future students.

Mr. Enholm’s positions have resulted in numerous delays. Delaying the construction of the center would not serve the needs of the district or its students and would ultimately result in higher costs with no benefits to the district, its students and its taxpayers.

Delays also impact the jobs of workers who would contribute to its construction.

Mr. Enholm who was an instructor at DeVry and Heald, the two failed for-profit institutions, four years ago ran on the platform opposing the 17-acre campus and advocated for a 110-acre campus.

He voted for the Brentwood Center as part of the Governing Board recommendation and helped in its bond passage, but continues to pursue a bigger campus even though no location is available and a bigger campus is not approved by the Community College Board.

If a bigger campus were to be built it would mean a tax increase for working families. The need for a larger campus is not practical or a wise use of taxpayer dollars. The LMC campus has unused capacity and forecasted enrollment trends shows that an extension Center will meet the needs of future students as enrollment starts to creep up. The trend of on-line classes also continues to grow reducing the need for increased facilities.

There were discussions early on to move from the planned Trilogy and Marsh Creek Road location, however a feasibility study concluded there is no reasonable alternative to the original site, and the governing board voted 4-1 not to move the site, which it had already purchased. BART had urged possibly moving the site to Highway4 and Mokelume Trail, however, the BART Board had made no official decision to pursue property for a future eBART station near the intersection of Highway 4 and the Mokelumne Trail.

We have no secured land for a site near an eBART.

It would take an additional three or four years and cost an additional $750,000 or more in site-selection processing expenses alone. The move would also need to be approved by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors or the district could risk losing lose $1.1 million per year in current revenue. Pursing a new larger campus could result in a 10 year delay at a minimum and impacting the services that are required for students.

The existing construction at planned facility at the 17-acre center is estimated at this time to be $43.6 million dollars. The costs to move to a 110 Acre campus would be astronomical in comparison with the taxpayers footing the bill for this increase, with no current basis for its usage based on enrollment needs and trends compared to the approved 17 acre campus.

Mr. Enholm’s delaying tactics in stalling the construction has already cost the district thousands of dollars.  Mr. Enholm continues to advocate for a larger campus for Antioch, Oakley and Brentwood. However, unless those communities are willing to pay an increase in taxes, as the entire District taxpayers would not support it based on past tax increase elections. A key reason Measure E passed was because there was something for every taxpayer.

Mr. Enholm continues to advocate for a campus in Antioch and Oakley and stated in part that the reason he won his first election was that he went before those communities and told them he would help build a larger campus. However, these communities were informed that Mr. Enholm did not have the authority of Board approval for such a statement.

Mr. Enholm’s desire to move the campus may be more in self-interest as these new campuses would be in Ward 5, which he presently represents. The planned Brentwood Center is located outside of his ward.  Self-interest is never a reason to lobby for change that is not beneficial to the larger community, especially our students.

We need fresh eyes, new ideas, and a leader who can bring people together in order to solve problems with practical ideas and future thinking.

Fernando is listening. Fernando has the education, experience, and commitment to bring needed change.

Vote wisely November 8th.

Valerie Romero-Lopez

Ward 5 resident


2 Comments to “Letter writer supports Brentwood college site, opposes Enholm for college board for supporting Antioch or Oakley location”

  1. Greg Enholm says:

    I am Greg Enholm. I appreciate Ms. Romero-Lopez expressing her opinions on whether Far East Contra Costa residents deserve a full 110-acre community college or just a 17-acre campus.

    She does NOT mention that West County has had the 80-acre Contra Costa College opened in 1949, Central County has had the 110-acre Diablo Valley College also opened in 1949, and Near East Contra Costa has had 110-acre Los Medanos College since 1974.

    She is correct that the District MADE A MISTAKE by agreeing to pay $68,000 per month in rent in 2001 when the current Brentwood Center at Sand Creek Road opened. So far, that’s $12 MILLION DOLLARS WASTED that should have been used to buy 110 acres for a full community college. Also, she does NOT MENTION the District GAVE AWAY 30 acres (which could have been expanded) just a short distance south of the Trilogy location which can NEVER be expanded as happened with every other college or campus.

    She also does not seem to understand that MY MAIN OPPONENT 2012 had the same position she is advocating: Just have the Brentwood Center at Trilogy.

    I received 27,345 (51%) of the votes in 2012. That’s a majority of the voters, giving me a clear mandate from those voters to advocate for a full 110-acre community college for Far East Contra Costa. I have done that for the last 4 years. If re-elected I will continue to advocate for such a 110-acre community college as West County, Central County, and Near East Contra Costa have had for decades.

    Ms. Romero-Lopez does NOT say that Far East Contra Costa TAXPAYERS pay EXACTLY THE SAME TAXES to the Contra Costa Community College District as those residents who have easy access to a nearby full community college.

    Please note Ms. Romero-Lopez lives in Pittsburg and can easily get to Los Medanos College.

    My opponent, Fernando Sandoval, also lives in Pittsburg. While I have taken courses at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg since 1997 with the most recent being in 2010, he has told me he has NEVER taken a course there.

    I also took a course at the Brentwood Center in summer 2012 before I was elected.

    Every student I have spoken with at the current Brentwood Center starting in 2012 and continuing until now says how difficult it is to go between that Center and the LMC Pittsburg campus.

    I ask Ms. Romero-Lopez to go to the current Brentwood Center and talk with the students there. Then she should write another letter about whether those students want a full 110-acre college rather than just a 17-acre center where they will be forced to go to LMC Pittsburg campus.

    I have voted with the other 4 Trustees (all of whose voters already have easy access to a full community college) to proceed with the Trilogy location. In my opinion, we can still create a full community college convenient for ALL Far East Contra Costa residents in the future. I believe the Trilogy location will be at capacity (just as the current Sand Creek location is now) within 10-15 years. If that happens I hope the District will finally create the full community college if not before.

    I am VERY DISAPPOINTED that Ms. Romero-Lopez repeats the LIE that “Mr. Enholm’s positions have resulted in many delays.” She MUST list these “delays” that I have supposedly caused. She seems to be referring to a proposal made by BART Director Joel Keller which did cause delays. That was Director Keller’s decision NOT MINE. To blame me for delays associated with Keller’s proposal is HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE and a LIE if she is aware of Keller’s proposal.

    Finally, I would like Ms. Romero-Lopez to answer two questions:

    1) Would she have preferred to have Los Medanos Campus opened in 1974 with just 17 acres with no additional space for more buildings rather than the full 110-acre college that has been expanded dramatically in recent years with new Math, Science, and Library buildings?

    2) Has she taken courses at LMC, CCC, or DVC? If not, why not? If yes, would she have preferred that instead of them being 110, 80, and 110 acres, she would have preferred just 17 acres for each?

    Greg Enholm
    You can email me at gbenholm@hotmail.com
    You can see a comparison of my qualifications with those of Mr. Sandoval at http://votersedge.org/ click on California and enter your zip code.

  2. Dale says:


    Your response is very well said and truly makes the Trilogy location look suspect at best.

Leave a Reply