The faulty fire alarm system at East Union High is forcing the use of staff to stand guard around campus when the system is malfunctioning.
Replacing the fire alarm system is one of the numerous health and safety items included in the upcoming $159 million bond issue for Manteca Unified School District on the Nov. 4 ballot.
“State law requires us to post staff around campus to keep an eye out for fires if we do not have a functioning fire alarm system,” noted Manteca Unified School District Superintendent Jason Messer.
The price tag for a new system can easily run into six figures to comply with new state mandates for school fire alarms.
East Union High — which is approaching its 40-year mark — also has issues with wiring for various systems.
Messer said the pipe conduit for wires such as the Internet and other systems is so jammed that additional wiring can’t be added. The cost of putting in place new conduit at various campuses has prompted the district to look at wireless connections for various technologies as a cost saving move for maintenance.
The district also has situations where key areas are lacking security cameras.
Playgrounds and sidewalks also pose safety problems in terms of cracking and buckling.
Messer said individually the items at specific campuses aren’t excessively expensive but when the need is taken as a whole the district doesn’t have the funds to do all of the work.
School safety and security upgrades in the bond include:
• Security and access control systems including surveillance systems, fire alarms, sprinkler systems, alarm systems and public address systems.
• Security fencing, security cameras, and site lighting.
• Damaged or non-compliant playground equipment.
• Failing pavement at playgrounds, walkways and parking areas.
• Replacement/removal of old building materials that are now known to be toxic due to asbestos and lead paint.
• Remodel facilities to achieve barrier-free American Disabilities Act compliant access at all facilities.