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5 schools first to benefit from bond
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Lincoln School will no longer use Yosemite Avenue as its main entrance after modernization work is completed. Instead it will be from Powers Avenue where a new multipurpose room will be built. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

Get ready for a $56.4 million makeover for the Golden West, Shasta, Lincoln, Lathrop, and Sequoia elementary school campuses.
The Manteca Unified board on Tuesday is being asked to authorize site lease, sub-lease and construction services agreements with F&H Construction for Golden West and Shasta and C.T. Brayton & Sons for the other three campuses.
Unlike the standard bid process, the lease arrangements have a greater control on cost overruns essentially eliminating them unless there is a change order outside of the scope of the original work. The same approach allowed the City of Manteca to shave hundreds of thousands of dollars off the cost of the transit station, the animal shelter, and the corporation yard maintenance buildings. It also reduced costs for Ripon Unified for the modernization of Weston Elementary School.
The schools were picked as the first Measure G bond projects for two reasons. First, they are among the district’s oldest campuses with the most significant deficiencies and modernization needs. Equally important they are eligible for 50-50 matching from the state once California bond money becomes available. As such, it will leverage additional Measure G improvements at other campuses.
Existing classrooms at Lincoln School — as well as many at the other four schools — will be reconfigured where needed to maximize space. Computer labs are being converted to other uses since the distribution of tablets to the district’s 23,500 students have rendered their use moot.
The projects will include modernization of everything from the electrical service to the flooring.
The 1950s era Lincoln School — when work is completed — will have a new front entrance while the current entrance along Yosemite Avenue will be restored to its original look.
The new entrance along Powers Avenue is designed to improve security and significantly increase the safety of children going to and from school as well as reduce traffic congestion on Yosemite Avenue.
A new multipurpose room will be built where the playground along Powers Avenue is now located along with an administrative office. The existing circular driveway will be removed and replaced with a larger one that will allow for a less congested drop off of students as well as establish one entrance to the campus for security purposes.
The use of Powers Avenue will significantly improve traffic flow given that across the street is a sound wall for the Curran Grove neighborhood and school playing fields and a city park are to the south and a preschool and service station to the north. The current Yosemite Avenue entrance besides being on the city’s second heaviest traveled east-west street is surrounded by commercial ventures.
The existing main entrance door will be accessed only by teachers with keys plus will automatically close after it is opened. The same is true for other exterior gates on the campus.
The existing cafeteria structure will be reconfigured as classrooms while a kitchen facility that is currently in a portable building will be replaced.

Sequoia School
Sequoia School will no longer face Martha Street as it has for more than a half a century after the $8.4 million modernization project is completed. Instead, a new office will be built next to the multi-purpose room completed a few years back along Wawona Street.
The entire campus will be re-orientated and reconfigured to improve security as well so the campus can be effectively locked down in emergencies.

Golden West
At Golden West, the $14 million modernization effort will include enhancing safety and security.
A new office will be built at the entrance and classrooms will be grouped so they can easily be locked down.
Not only will frayed carpet be removed but so well the asbestos tile that has been sealed beneath them for years.
Given that the asbestos tile can break or could be damaged when carpet is ripped out, hazmat crews will do that part of the demolition.
Golden West School will have new facade touches to the front so it blends in with the architecture of the newer community gym.

Shasta School
Shasta School’s $8.3 modernization will also maximize classroom space, provide new flooring, and upgrade electrical systems among other things.
The cost is lower due to the fact the original campus consists of concrete block buildings.
To improve security, a new office will be built along Edison Street with the existing complex at the center of the campus converted into classrooms.
A new classroom wing will replace portables. The design of the buildings facing Edison will pick up on the architectural nuances of the multipurpose room completed several years ago to give the campus a unified look.
Where the portables are now located near Edison, additional parking will be provided.
Most projects won’t contain additional parking but since the Shasta portables are being removed and work had to be done with the ground anyway, district officials said it made sense to take additional steps to improve traffic flow in the front of the school.

Lathrop School
Lathrop Elementary School safety — both on campus as well as during drop-off and pick-up times along Fifth Street — will be significantly improved with the envisioned $14.6 million modernization project.
 Neighbors and parents alike have complained for years about the hodge podge situation regarding before and after school traffic.
The bond project will clean up the traffic issues, add sidewalks, provide a bus drop off and create one main entrance to the campus.
Reconstruction will include building a new office at the main entrance and securing the campus in a manner that it is defensible if an incident occurs.
And if by chance there is a lockdown or some other emergency at Lathrop Elementary School, teachers will immediately know exactly what is going on.
That’s because the Measure G modernization effort includes installing digital wall clocks that can be converted to message mode to post information from the office so teachers can take immediate steps to secure student safety based on the incident that is occurring.
It is just one common feature of the five elementary schools being modernized in the initial wave of school bond projects.
Access gates that aren’t at the main entrance will be designed to automatically close once a faculty member using a key passes through them.
The board meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the district office, 2271 West Louise Ave.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email