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Board looks at options for growth

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POSTED August 19, 2017 1:00 a.m.

Manteca Unified expects by 2020 to have upwards of 2,000 more students — or the equivalent of two elementary schools.
On Tuesday, the school board will conduct a study session to review options the district’s Growth Steering Committee has formulated as the best way to provide housing for the students that are not only coming from new homes but from an upswing in the birth rate throughout the district.
The board meets at 6 p.m. at the district office complex, 2271 W. Louise Ave. The agenda also includes education specifications and district funding.
The district’s Growth Steering Committee’s recommendations include:
uConstruct Ethel Allen Elementary School in the Mossdale Landing neighborhood in Lathrop west of Interstate 5. The school district already owns the land.
uAdd a wing of classrooms at Lincoln School and redistrict the school’s attendance areas to include areas south of the 120 Bypass.
uSignificantly expand Nile Garden School to accommodate upwards of 1,000 students.
uAdd additional classroom capacity at Manteca High.
It will take upwards of three years to get new facilities in place due to lead time is needed for design, gaining state approvals, and construction.
Between $22.2 million in development fees as well as $55.4 million in Mello-Roos special taxes and bond sale receipts, the district has $67.6 million available for new construction. The new elementary campus in Lathrop is expected to run between $25 million and $30 million while the other classroom projects could easily consume up to another $10 million leaving less than $30 million for the next wave of construction to accommodate growth.
There is $7.1 million set aside from Measure G bonds in the second phase of modernization work for non-growth improvements at Nile Garden. That money will be spent on major and deferred maintenance, health and safety, and code compliance. That work would be done in such a manner that it would place infrastructure improvements to connect seamlessly with non-Measure G work that would be done to accommodate additional students.
Lincoln School’s just completed modernization includes infrastructure stubbed off for a future classroom wing to handle growth. The state, when reviewing the Lincoln School modernization plans, gave tentative approval to eventually add more classrooms at the Powers Avenue campus.
Adding classrooms to existing elementary campuses is a cost effective way of increasing capacity. That’s because they already have big ticket items such as multi-purpose rooms, infrastructure such as water and sewer pipes, playgrounds, parking lots, and other support facilities such as libraries and offices in place. That leaves only the need to build classrooms and perhaps additional restrooms.
Looming on the horizon is the overall numbers of housing that could start breaking ground soon depending upon the housing market and the economy. As of April 2017, Manteca currently has 5,346 single family homes and 1,664 apartments approved in the portion of the city that is within Manteca Unified boundaries. There are additional homes approved in the City of Manteca that are within the Ripon Unified School District boundaries. The City of Lathrop has approved up to 6,800 housing units as part of the Central Lathrop Pacific Plan.

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