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MUSD buys land for French Camp multi-use gym
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The Manteca Unified School District will be acquiring a 2.5 acres between French Camp School and the Good Shepherd Mission Catholic Church. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT
FRENCH CAMP – In the not so distant future, French Camp School will be getting a much-needed multipurpose gymnasium.

The multi-use facility will have its daily functions as a cafeteria and office space while hosting occasional assemblies and eighth-grade graduations.

But it’s those special occasions that often provide parking woes for families and guests.

Trustees of the Manteca Unified School District last Tuesday took a step toward providing a remedy for this problem by agreeing to acquire 2.5 acres between the campus and Good Shepherd Mission Catholic Church.

Plans are to use the space made possible mostly by the voter-approved Measure M money for parking.

Trustee Manuel Medeiros helped broker the deal.

“I did it for the school,” he said. “I have four grandchildren who go to French Camp School.”

Besides parking, Superintendent Jason Messer said the land can later be used to reconfigure the campus by moving portable units to the space, thus, opening up the playing fields.

The negotiated price was $100,000 per acre. This also covered survey costs, cost to subdivide, closing costs and other fees associated with the sale of the property.

All told, the district agreed to pay $272,587, with Measure M accounting for $269,601 of that amount and the general fund ($2,986) absorbing the difference.

“This will put us right at the max of our general fund,” said Messer, who has the tough task of providing a balanced budget to the state despite a $23.5 million shortfall. “This was money that can only be used for facilities.”

French Camp School has an enrollment of about 600 students.

The property has belonged to the Beattie family for several generations.

Kathleen Garcia, business manager and part owner of the property also belonging to her mother, Cynthia Garcia, had been working with both the school district and church for the piece of land.

“Both my mother and myself are pleased that this sale will benefit our community by allowing the necessary expansions of French Camp School,” she said in a letter addressed March 2 to the school district.