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Schools, city partner for recreation
MUSD DANCE2 4-25-15
Junior high studnets at a Manteca Parks & Recreation dance conducted in February at the Golden West School Community Gym. - photo by HIME ROMERO/Bulletin file photo

Adults take Zumba classes at the East Union High dance room in the evening.

Hundreds of junior high age students move to the beat of music at once-a-month dances in the Golden West School multi-purpose room.

Kids Zone after school programs take place at eight different schools.

An all-day summer camp is conducted at Lincoln School.

The Manteca Dolphins swim team practices and conducts meets on weekends at high school swimming pools.

That’s just part of a long list of community activities that the City of Manteca is able to offer thanks to a close working relationship with Manteca Unified School District

The ability to use school district facilities paid for with tax dollars wasn’t included in the consultant’s status report regarding work on a master plan for community parks and recreation over the next 20 years that is being prepared for consideration and adoption by the Manteca City Council in February.

The master plan doesn’t inventory any potential partnerships with the school district regarding existing facilities. It does, however, project facility deficits as the city grows over the next 20 years. Including school facilities could either reduce or eliminate projected shortfalls.

The report, as an example, doesn’t include the possibility of the city utilizing one or more of the three high school swimming pools for open pool access such as now is offered at city-owned Lincoln Pool. Instead it indicates the city will be short a swimming pool as Manteca grows and therefore needs to consider spending more to build a new one.

Soccer fields are another area where deficits could be addressed. A youth soccer program already uses fields at Golden West School much the way softball and Little Leagues utilize fields at elementary schools such as Brock Elliott and Neil Hafley.

Citizens at the consultants’ presentation on the parks and recreation master plan progress at both the Planning Commission and City Council meetings have brought up working with the school district to not duplicate tax spending for facilities since community use is primarily after school, on weekends or in the summer. One speaker suggested that the private sector provide facility solutions for recreation sports and not the city as has happened in Fremont.

And while the report may yet address it, developing joint-use facilities in the future could also address community recreation needs in the future while helping keep building costs down.

Manteca has already partnered in building four elementary school multipurpose facilities. The arrangement allows the city a set amount of hours during regular school year to use them for recreation programs such as basketball, volleyball, and youth dances among other things.

That includes per week 15 hours at Golden West (16 hours are actually used), 20 hours at Shasta (10 hours are actually used), 20 hours at Stella Brockman (5 hours are actually used), and 20 hour at Neil Hafley (20 hours are actually used).

That is in addition to the Manteca Parks and Recreation Department renting other facilities for programs.

Similar joint use agreements are in place with the City of Lathrop for the Lathrop Elementary Gym and the City of Stockton for the August Knodt Gym.

Stockton also has a joint use agreement with the district for the New Vision Education Center Library.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email