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Some MUSD buildings fail to meet state standards

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POSTED March 17, 2018 12:49 a.m.

Not every building on a Manteca Unified School District campus has received the necessary certification of the Department of the State Architect.
And while not every building necessarily needs that – the majority of the buildings and structures listed in a report by a consultant that is reviewing the best way to deal with the district-wide situation can be addressed with a sign placed near them as long as students and teachers don’t enter those buildings – there will be a number that will end up having to be removed.
On Tuesday, the Manteca Unified School District Board of Education heard a presentation from Eric Wohle of LDA Partners about the ongoing study looking at the ways in which the district can become compliant with California regulations in regard to buildings both on individual school sites and the district administrative campus itself.
The be.tech campus will need the majority of the work as only four of the buildings listed have DSA certification. Some of the buildings that will be evaluated as part of the study include the buildings that form the “streetscape” – one of the features that makes be.tech unique and a valuable asset for students in a number of career pathways that can use the unique layout as part of their curriculum.
According to Superintendent Jason Messer, the district should be okay in terms of be.tech because of previous legal correspondence about what necessitates DSA approval for buildings, and the district’s willingness to make upgrades when necessary and place signs on non-conforming buildings.
But the study will include more than just be.tech.
Some of the other buildings and structures that will need to be evaluated by the board as a part of the study include:
uThe faculty lounges at Calla, Manteca and East Union High Schools as well as New Haven, Nile Garden, Lincoln and Lathrop Elementary Schools. Depending on the site, the report is recommending either securing DSA approval for those buildings or changing the use altogether.
uThe “freshman fieldhouse” at Manteca High School, which will need to be removed because of its designation as a non-conforming “school” building.
uStorage portables at Lathrop Elementary School that will need to be removed.
A number of buildings on the be.tech campus, including the restroom trailer and the current administrative offices and gymnasium, are designated for removal as a part of the study.
The majority of the buildings that have been identified, be.tech notwithstanding, are storage or warehouse structures on some of the district’s older campuses, and the placement of a sign near them – or near a cluster of them – advising students that they’re not allowed to access them would legally solve the issue for the district.
Wohle’s study, which also looked at ADA compliance issues at be.tech – another DSA category – will be presented to the board next month for their consideration and action.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email jcampbell@mantecabulletin.com or call 209.249.3544.

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