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Tests pivotal in how far $40M will go at Manteca

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POSTED December 11, 2017 1:11 a.m.

Key tests to determine Manteca High’s future have nothing to do with what goes on inside classrooms.

Instead they are tests to determine what issues lurk underground and in the walls as the Manteca Unified School District gears up for an overall $40 million investment to situate the 97-year-old campus for its second hundred years.

The tests will determine how much work needs to be done on electrical and plumbing systems, the condition of roofs, whether there is lead or asbestos behind walls and ceilings, and whether there is soil contamination.

“What we find will determine how much we can do with Measure G funds,” noted Deputy Superintendent Clark Burke.

There is $15 million in Measure G money set aside for the Manteca High campus earmarked exclusively to address health and safety and modernization needs. In addition the school board has budgeted $4 million in one-time redevelopment agency receipts and $21 million in growth fees collected from new development to go toward expanding the campus to accommodate growth.

Manteca High has a current enrollment of 1,532 students with an existing campus designed to accommodate 1,703 students. 

Under a long-range growth strategy adopted by the school board, district high schools eventually will be taken from a targeted ideal cap enrollment of 1,800 to 2,200 students. Manteca High will be the first campus to move toward the 2,200 student mark in terms of facilities.

How far the $25 million for situating Manteca High for growth goes depends on how much Measure G bond funding address health and safety needs.

Support facilities such as the gym will need to be addressed as well as campus security and flow issues that involve taking over the stretch of Garfield Avenue that splits the campus as well as possibly the reorientation of the front of the campus to Moffat Boulevard.

While nothing is in concrete, maximizing what is already in place to be as effective as possible for a campus of 2,200 could mean converting the existing Winter Gym into the secondary gym and building a new gym where the entire student body could be seated during an assembly.

Regardless of how much construction actually takes place with the $25 million to accommodate enrollment growth, Burke said the basic plan put in place will be designed to allow future construction to maximize the campus capacity.

He noted if the decision is made to build two-story classroom wings that would require elevators; the district’s intent is to design a footprint that ultimately would accommodate the maximum number of second floor classrooms allowed per elevator.

“Given the cost of elevators and maintaining them, it wouldn’t make sense not to make sure we build the maximum classrooms allowed per elevator,” Burke noted.

School board representatives are also meeting periodically with two of their City Council peers to examine joint ventures and joint uses at the central district campus to maximize overall tax dollars and provide optimum facilities for high school students and the community.

While the testing phase is being wrapped up, the district is preparing to circulate requests for proposals for design services and then request for proposals for lease-lease back construction services.

The lease-lease back allows for maximum flexibility in the construction process not only making changes more nimble but provides incentives for the contractor to reduce costs allowing maximization of available dollars.

Throughout the entire process, the district plans to have continuous community engagement on the direction that Manteca High will take in terms of its new facilities.

 

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com

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