The days of students and faculty having to rely on bottled drinking water are numbered at Nile Garden School — one of two elementary campuses targeted for classroom expansion to absorb the first wave of elementary enrollment growth from thousands of homes being built south of the 120 Bypass.
Construction documents key to gaining Proposition 84 funding for safe drinking water projects through the State Water Resources Control Board are being submitted next month. Once the state approves those plans, the project to extend City of Manteca water lines to the Nile Avenue campus in rural south Manteca can move forward.
“It is coming together just as we will be ready to modernize the campus with Measure G bond money,” noted Deputy Superintendent Clark Burke.
Nile Garden switched to bottled water four years ago when tests showed that the water being pumped from a well no longer met newer federal standards for arsenic. The previous standard was 50 parts per billion in terms of volume. It has now been reduced to 10 parts per billion.
Arsenic occurs naturally. Experts have said it would take arsenic levels “about 100 times” higher than what they are now to cause sickness. They also have described the EPA edict as “extreme” caution.
Nile Garden along with Lincoln are the two elementary campuses being bumped up to accommodate 1,000 students through envisioned new classroom construction
The total cost of increasing capacity at both Nile Garden and Lincoln is expected to cost $19.2 million.
Measure G work connected with modernization of existing classrooms and addressing health and safety needs has already been addressed. That included a new multi-purpose room and administration office.
Nile Garden will also have a multipurpose room added to address existing deficiencies and to serve growth.
Both campuses will have new classroom wings that are expected to contain 8 classrooms each and accommodate more than 200 additional students at each campus.
Nile Garden will also see reconfigured and modernized portables as a long-term solution as well as a reconfigured and expanded parking lot for improved safety and site access.
Burke said the existing well at Nile Garden will continue to be used for irrigation to avoid using much more expensive treated city water for that purpose.
The district is also trying to determine if it would be more effective to use the well for the fire suppression system on the campus or to rely on the municipal water system. There are no nearby fire hydrants currently at the rural campus.
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