LATHROP – In the eyes of the Lathrop City Council, it’s official.
The stretch of Lathrop Road that extends from Golden Valley Parkway west to the dead-end at the back of the campus will now be Spartan Way. It was a unanimous decision by the council to honor a request by the Lathrop High School leadership class.
But the decision by the council went above and beyond what was initially proposed by both Lathrop students and city staffers.
Councilman Sonny Dhaliwal made the motion to approve the request, but in doing so added language that will change the name of the entire section of Lathrop Road that runs west of Golden Valley Parkway until it intersects with Barbara Terry Boulevard.
An uncompleted section that will begin at the roundabout at the rear of the school will link the two sections.
And in the eyes of Lathrop High Principal David Chamberlain, having a proposal like the one pitched by students just keeps with the tradition that began when the students and the community got to choose their own mascot and colors.
“I think that for you guys to be able to give them this honor – that’s an awesome thing,” Chamberlain said. “But there’s a difference between efficient and effective. When you honor the students the way you did tonight, let’s do it effectively and make sure it happens all the way and not part of the way.”
But the decision hasn’t cleared all of its hurdles just yet.
Because the staff decided to move forward with a complete renaming and not a ceremonial one, Manteca Unified School District is going to be facing some costs in order to change the address on things that have already been pre-printed.
And since the council didn’t go to Manteca Unified first to get their position, something that would have been easy with the 2x2 committee that was recently reinstated, how the decision will affect the relationship has yet to be determined.
Relations were strained between the two when the district was forced to open Lathrop High School without the necessary sewer hookup – something that promised to them in a letter by the mayor at the time.
Politics, however, can take a back seat as far as the students are concerned. They’re just glad that they have something that they can say they helped push through – something they’ll see every morning on their way to the campus.
“As an athlete, I view my school the same way a soldier would his country – I take great pride in it,” said Charles Garcia. “We deserve nothing less for all of the things that we’re doing in the community.”
Typically the cost to change street signage is the responsibility of the petitioning party. Initial estimates to place the signage from Golden Valley Parkway to the back of the school were $2,000, but that number may increase after Dhaliwal’s bid to extend the road all the way out to Barbara Terry Boulevard.