There may be a California State University-Stanislaus satellite campus in Manteca in the near future.
That university campus could be the old Lindbergh School which is currently standing empty, thanks to the Manteca Unified School District’s ongoing budget crisis.
Superintendent Jason Messer announced Tuesday night during the Board of Trustees meeting that the City of Manteca has had talks with district officials about leasing “the old portion of Lindbergh School” and some of the portables with the exception of two which are currently being used by two school programs that would remain at that location.
The city, in turn, has been having talks with Stanislaus State officials about the “possibility” of leasing “the old portion of Lindbergh School” to the university. Since it’s the city and not the school district which has been conducting the talks with the university, Messer said he did not have specific information about how Stanislaus State would utilize the facility.
The two portables that would not be included in the lease negotiations are the ones being used by the auto shop course and the after-school child care program.
The board unanimously voted to direct Messer to start negotiating a lease with the city on the use of Lindbergh School, and that the lease negotiations be predicated on the proviso that the contracted amount determined by the district would be in exchange for the city’s “continued funding and support for the current level of SROs (Student Resource Officers).” The Manteca Police Department provides police presence on school campuses based on a reciprocity or quid pro quo agreement between the city and the district.
Elements of the lease arrangement that would be pursued by the district include the following as explained by Messer:
• Some of the programs currently being offered at the Lindbergh facility including the Adult Education classes would be moved to the district facility on West Louise Avenue. The cost of that move is estimated to be about $10,000.
• The city would be responsible for the utilities, while the upkeep of the facilities would be the responsibility of the district.
• The occupation of the old Lindbergh building would be done in a manner that would “prevent charter schools from securing those buildings.”
• The warehouse buildings on the Lindbergh campus could be used by the grounds and maintenance departments of the district, a consolidation move that would save money.
Since the talks between the city and Stanislaus State have been ongoing, “the city has expressed the desire to move quickly” with the lease negotiations, Messer told the board.
He added that the “primary (city) agency that’s looking into Lindbergh is the Police Department for the Explorers Program.”
The auto shop, on the other hand, is staying at Lindbergh “until the district can look into that,” Messer said.
Two of the portables at the Lindbergh campus will be either “crushed” or removed from the property and be placed “somewhere” because they are “so far gone,” Messer said.
When asked by board member Don Scholl why the university did not approach the district directly about leasing Lindbergh School since the two agencies share the same mission, which is education, Messer answered that “the city has been talking with Stanislaus State absent of us.”
Manteca businessman Ed Fonseca brought up the issue that due to age problems, Lindbergh School would probably “not meet state requirements” for classroom utilization. Messer agreed saying, the district “can’t use it for regular classrooms” because of those issues. The building, for one, does not meet earthquake laws being enforced by the Division of State Architecture.
Lindbergh School, also, can never be sold to a developer for residential projects, Messer said.