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Bond work won’t address all of needs identified in MUSD
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Editor’s note: This is the final story in a series regarding Manteca Unified school district facilities and plans to accommodate students generated by growth.

Measure A — the $260 million bond voters approved in November 2020 — won’t cover all of the existing Manteca Unified School District facility needs when it comes to addressing aging structures and program deficiencies.

It will, though, make a healthy dent.

Measure A projects that will start breaking ground next year as well as the remaining Measure G projects that will get underway in 2023 will likely knock down less than two thirds of the $600 million in districtwide facility needs that was completed in a 2014 study.

That study included structural issues that come with any aging building that gets heavy use. It also encompasses modernization issues that run the gamut from energy efficiency to modern-day education programming requirements.

None of the $600 million in needs identified eight years ago was for facilities needed to house growth.

The price tag of other projects currently being tackled and those that the bond issues won’t address will increase due to inflation.

It is why with both bond measures, how campus improvements could be addressed were repeatedly reexamined before embarking on a final course of action. It was done in a bid to make sure sa many needs could be addressed in the most cost effective and efficient manner possible.

At the same time the district constantly looks at ways to maximize bond expenditures.

An example is tapping federal COVID funds for classroom safety expenditures to help foot much of the bill for replacing aging HVAC systems districtwide. As such, it will free up bond money for other projects.

Both bonds — besides addressing structural and education  program deficiencies — also protects the taxpayers’ sizable investment.

There are more than 30 campuses in the district including five comprehensive high schools and 20 elementary schools

New high school campuses being built today for 1,500 students cost $180 million. New elementary campus are hitting the $60 million mark when everything  for land, construction, and infrastructure is taken into account.

Between those facilities alone, it would cost $2.1 billion to replace them.

It is why the district — that could end up spending  $70 million plus from Measure A and Measure G bond receipts on Manteca High projects  — opted to look at ways to reposition campuses for the next 50 years instead of looking at new sites.

In doing so, they wanted to just what limited money they can secure from growth to maximize its ability to accommodate more students.

Hence, the expansion of the Manteca High campus and the decision to go with two-story classroom buildings.

A similar approach was used with other high school and elementary campuses where it was feasible to do so.

It also why the district opted for now not to move toward development a 60-acre site that was obtained nearly 20 years ago on Tinnin Road in South Manteca.

It was envisioned at the time to be the best  site for Manteca’s fourth city high school campus due to the growth patterns in place just after the turn of the century.

Since then, growth patterns have shifted.

But perhaps the biggest issue is the advent of the state mandate prohibiting development in a 200-year flood zone. The remedy local jurisdictions are pursuing means the site is at the extreme southern end of development with little or no homes ever to be built to the south.

While the site may need up being used for a high school eventually or other education needs such as a continuation high school replacement for the aging and restrictive Calla High campus, the district’s current facilities strategy is to eventually create the equivalent of a fourth high school within Manteca’s city limits by reconfiguring Sierra, East Union, and Manteca to eventually accommodate 2,200 students.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email