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Nile Garden, Lincoln schools expanding to handle growth
Lincoln School will be expanded to house 1,000 students. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

Some of Manteca Unified’s oldest schools are about to get major overhauls.
And a long-planned elementary school in Lathrop is finally slated to get off the ground to serve a community that is expected to grow in leaps and bounds in the coming years.
On Tuesday, the Manteca Unified Board of Education told staff to continue with plans to increase capacity at Nile Garden and Lincoln Elementary Schools and also begin the planning process on the long-awaited Ethel Allen Elementary School in Lathrop. The new school will be constructed on property that the district has owned for more than a decade.
And Manteca High School – which could grow to more than 2,200 students once housing tracts south of the Highway 120 Bypass are completed – will finally get some of the amenities that both modernize the district’s oldest high school and maximize space and efficiency on the campus constructed on the smallest footprint.
While some funding from Measure G is available to complete modernization at sites like Nile Garden and Manteca High School to accommodate the future expansion, the additional funding will come from a combination of developer fees and existing money in order to be able to house the additional students.
In Lathrop, according to a presentation made to the board Tuesday night, there is no additional elementary capacity to handle the growth projected for the next five years. It is a period of time in which the schools that cater to Lathrop residents are expected to increase in enrollment by 12 percent, or approximately 348 students by 2021.
The incremental construction of Ethel Allen, which would involve constructing a kindergarten wing that houses temporary office facilities, a separate work room and staff lounge, and a wing to serve students through third grade. It could accommodate up to 400 students initially and serve as the first building block to a fully functional K-8 school that could eventually house upwards of 1,000 students when fully completed.
At a cost of $15.3 million, the project would be paid for with $7.8 million from the community facilities district that serves the area – some of which would come from additional bond sales – and $7.5 million would come from developer fees from construction in the area.
The design and the approval of the Department of the State Architect could take between 12 and 14 months from when it begins. Construction is expected to take between 18 and 22 additional months.
In Manteca, with so much growth located south of the 120 Bypass, the district will move forward with plans to increase capacity at both Nile Garden and Lincoln Elementary Schools to 1,000 students each. It will build upon the recent work completed at Lincoln as part of the modernization effort. It also will drastically change the layout and the feel of Nile Garden — one of the district’s last two country elementary schools. The other is New Haven.
By using a similar plan as the 8-room adaptable classroom wing concept being utilized at Ethel Allen, both Lincoln and Nile Garden will see additional classroom space.  Nile Garden will also see reconfigured and modernized portables as a long-term solution, and a reconfigured and expanded parking lot for improved safety and site access. The rural school would also have a multipurpose room added to cater to the larger student body.
The total cost of increasing capacity at both Nile Garden and Lincoln is expected to be around $19.2 million, with Nile Garden receiving nearly equal $7 million allotments from Measure G funds and developer fees and Lincoln getting $5 million from developer fees.
The largest undertaking of the increased capacity proposal, Manteca High School, has yet to have a formal plan put in place on how to transition it into the largest high school in the district. Possible avenues being explored include closing Garfield Avenue to enhance safety, exploring joint-use partnerships, exploring additional land area that may available, possibly re-orienting the campus, expanding the quad, adding a two story classroom building and adding a large multipurpose facility.

Manteca High will
see $40 million in
new facilities including
$15 million in health
& safety upgrades
Each of those avenues will be explored in-depth moving forward as the district narrows down the list on what they’ll be able to include with a budget of just over $40 million – a little less than one-third of the cost of constructing a brand new high school capable of housing 1,500 students. The Measure G improvements – $15 million of which has already been dedicated to the effort – will likely take place over the next 36 months to enhance safety and security as well as modernize areas such as existing restrooms. The additional capacity could take as long as five years to complete if not longer. Manteca High School will be able to use just over $4 million in existing one-time redevelopment fees, and the district is budgeting $21 million in developer fees to make the project a reality.
Specific ideas on each of the individual projects will be brought back to the board next month for consideration and formal approval to begin the planning phase of the elementary sites, and help provide clear direction on how the district should proceed with the high school project.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.