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Historic Lindbergh School back in business

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Historic Lindbergh School back in business

Lindbergh School on East North Street which formerly housed the Manteca Adult School has a new sign which reflects its new tenant: Manteca Unified’s Health Services Department.


POSTED October 25, 2013 12:34 a.m.

The iconic Lindbergh School which has been vacant for a while is open for business once again.

The brick building at the corner of East North Street and Lincoln Avenue which housed the Manteca Adult School for many years is now occupied by the Health Services department of Manteca Unified School District.

The move is “part of the district’s larger vision to create a campus on the district lot,” said Deputy Superintendent Clark Burke.

With the relocation of Human Services, the district can now expand its Manteca Unified Vocational Academy as planned, he said. MUVA’s School of Culinary Arts, currently in its second year, has shared spaces with Human Services and other district programs in the portable complex along Louise Avenue, between the two entrances to the district compound. At this same location are the student-run MUVA Café, which is now open to the public, and kitchen facilities. MUVA’s second offering, the School of Industrial Technology and Design, opened in August. And coming up next year is a third vocational program, a First Responder School.

Moving Health Services out of its old location has allowed the district to meet a couple of needs in the process, explained Burke. MUVA needs more space as it continues to grow. Likewise, Health Services needed a larger facility for its programs. “Now, they have the ability to run clinics at their site. They have the space to grow as well,” he said.

A newly retrofittedLindbergh School

Prior to the occupation of Lindbergh by the Health Services staff, the building had to be retrofitted and revamped. New coat of paint was applied inside. The heating and ventilating system was completely redone. The carpets were redone.

“We revamped the facility that we were not occupying, and now we are able to go back to the community and reinvest the property that was vacant. And, we’re putting retrofit dollars into Lindbergh,” Burke said.

“We’re trying to make sure it’s a good place for our Health Services,” he said.

He also hoped that with their expanded facility, Health Services will be able to offer community-based programs which they were unable to do because of the limited space in a single portable structure at the district lot.

“It’s a nice building,” Human Services Director Caroline Thibodeau said of her department’s new facility. But the move has been challenging, she added, with computers, telephones, and modulars being relocated and installed, not to mention reconfiguring work spaces.

Manteca Unified Senior Director of Operations David Burke pointed out that the vacating of the old Lindbergh School building was not because it was not seismically sound and would not withstand earthquakes.  There was no safety issue involved. Lindbergh is “structurally sound,” he said.

School facilities that house students and teachers require design and construction oversight approval from the Division of the State Architect, or DSA, David Burke explained. Lindbergh was not designed with DSA involvement at the time it was built because it was not required.

Lindbergh & budget cuts aftermath

Due to severe budget cuts a few years ago, the district was forced to discontinue many of its community classes in the Adult School and to relocate ROP classes for high school students, such as computer and fashion design, to different campuses in the district. The Manteca Adult School and its remaining programs – e.g., English as a Second Language, GED classes for those who want to obtain a High School Equivalency Certificate, Career Technical Education classes – were moved to the portable buildings at the district site.

What remained at the city block-sized Lindbergh site was the automotive ROP program. But that is also being considered for relocation at a future date.

“For the time being, it will stay there,” said Board of Education president Don Scholl.

Now in the process of being moved to the Lindbergh location also is the district’s grounds-maintenance operations which will be housed in a metal building that will be built near the automotive shop on the east side of the property.

The plan for both the relocation of Health Services and the construction of a new maintenance building, along with related expenses, were approved by the board, said Scholl. Consolidating the grounds and maintenance operations is also part of the ongoing plans to establish an education campus at the district property.

During the time Lindbergh was shuttered, several lease options were explored. Talks were conducted between the school district about possibly leasing the Lindbergh facilities to the California State University, Stanislaus. The site was being considered as a possible satellite location for the Cal State Turlock campus. A partnership with the City of Manteca was also considered but no agreements were reached.

Lindbergh School was completed in 1928. It was named in honor of Charles A. Lindbergh who that year completed the first trans-Atlantic plane crossing.

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