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Solar energy will power new station
Carports will provide shade for 51 vehicles plus support a solar system to power the new transit station being built on Moffat Boulevard at South Main Street. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Manteca’s greenest building could end up being the $7.3 million transit center due to open this spring.

The City Council on Tuesday is being asked to approve a contract with Spectrum Energy Development to install a photovoltaic solar system that could easily provide all power needs for the 7,000-square-foot transit station.

The solar system will go on top of carports that will also provide shade over 51 parking spaces. The carport structure is being built with significant savings from the environmental cleanup of the site at the southeast corner of Moffat Boulevard and South Main Street. The inverter for the system will be located within a trash enclosure.

Funding for the $361,080 solar project is from undesignated reserves from the Federal Transit Management Fund. The money represents an increase in federal dollars above and beyond what Manteca budgeted. Federal Transit funds along with Proposition 1B state transit bond proceeds are being used to build the actual station.

It is more than just a transit station to tie in city a regional bus services, taxis, and potential Altamont Commuter Express rail service when the commuter line is extended into Modesto. It is designed as a downtown gathering place and focal point complete with indoor meeting/banquet rooms and an outdoor plaza.

The building is more than just about function. Its modern brick look with expansive glass accented with arches inside and out will come complete with a clock tower visible to both South Main and Moffat traffic. Architect Eric Wohle has referenced it as a  “Grand Central Station” theme.

The transit station includes:

• a large community room that can be divided in two for use for dinners, receptions, and other events complete with a kitchen facility.

• an expansive outdoor plaza designed to accommodate events such as an outdoors farmers market.

• a large clock tower visible in all directions.

The design is about more than just pleasing the eye.

• The higher pitched ceiling in the community room has been designed with dropped “clouds” consisting of acoustical panels to soften noise.

• The materials used - such as wainscoting on the walls in the lobby and the community room - are designed to reduce maintenance costs.

• The design has been modified so if one person is on staff in the building at the ticket window that they have a clear visual line to the community room entrances.

The restrooms accessible to the public and the community room address a common complaint women have - not enough toilets. The women’s bathroom has eight toilets while the men’s side has two toilets and a pair of urinals.

There are 108 parking spaces on the 3.1-acre site, bus drop off zones with shelters and safety fence to keep passengers away from Moffat traffic.  A vehicle drop-off zone would be in place on Moffat as well as on site complete with a turn-around. Dedicated left turns would be added to Moffat for entering the transit station parking lot. A pedestrian crosswalk would also be added on Moffat.

The project will also include putting in place a fiber optic line between the Civic Center and the transit station. It will be the backbone of a city system to provide security cameras at selected bus stops as well as parks throughout Manteca.

City leaders when debating the design of a cell tower that has been placed at the new municipal vehicle maintenance facility on Wetmore Street indicated they would like to see an 80-foot flag pole that would fly a garrison style flag placed in front of the new transit station.

No official change order has been made to the project to accommodate such a flag pole.

The City Council meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.