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Manteca buildings impress critics

HOPE Shelter, animal shelter earn awards

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Manteca buildings impress critics

Architect Eric Wohle, right is shown in front of the HOPE Family Shelter on West Yosemite Avenue

HIME ROMERO/Bulletin file photo/

POSTED September 5, 2013 1:13 a.m.

Two Manteca buildings — the new city animal shelter and the restored HOPE Family Shelter — have earned architectural design awards.

The Sierra Valley Chapter of the America Institute of Architects has selected the two buildings as among the best 10 projects built during the past two years in an eight county region stretching from Lodi to Bishop. Both projects were designed by LDA Partners of Stockton with Eric Wohle — an East Union High graduate and current Ripon resident — as the primary architect.

“These were buildings built for the future,” noted Manteca City Councilman Vince Hernandez referencing the design, functionality and low-cost maintenance aspect of the two projects.

Hernandez said the animal shelter and family shelter along with the new transit center, the municipal vehicle maintenance facility, and the new fire station on Lathrop Road opening Wednesday show “what Manteca can do in tough times.”

The councilman was referring to conservative fiscal policies that had Manteca saving up money for years allowing it to take advantage of lower construction prices as well as to make five major municipal investments during an economic downturn.

Hernandez’ favorite building of the five is the transit station with its “grand central station feel.” He believes the transit station is destined to become a downtown landmark not only with its design but also its location at Manteca’s heart. Hernandez noted the transit station is as impressive on the inside as it is the outside.

The transit station was not finished in time to compete for this year’s awards. The next architectural competition will take place in 2015.

Hernandez said the fact Wohle is a Manteca product is icing on the cake.

Councilwoman Debby Moorhead said the two award winning buildings were “absolutely” beautiful. She noted that the transit station, animal shelter and vehicle maintenance facility that are lined up next to each other along South Main Street, blend in nicely despite differing architectural styles.

The 10 winners were selected by a jury composed of several architects and architectural critics that live and practice outside the eight-county region.

“This achievement is especially gratifying from our locally based team, as many of the other winning projects were designed by national or international firms,” Wohle noted in an e-mail. “The city and its residents should be proud to know that others throughout the state recognize the significant gains and progress that the City of Manteca has achieved over the past two years.”

The awards will be presented Sept. 21 at the State Theater in Modesto as part of the Modesto International Architectural Festival.

The HOPE Family Shelter received the Design Excellence award. The two-story structure was opened in 1919 as a 30-bed hospital. It cost $25,000 to build. The structure was not only brought up to code but was renovated to reflect the architecture of the late 1910s. It also had central heat and air installed as well as other efficiencies such as a metal roof to keep maintenance costs down.

The entire tab for the makeover was funded with $1.2 million in redevelopment funds.

The $2.1 million animal shelter paid for with growth fees received a Merit Award.

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