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First phase of $42 million Manteca High project
Crews were demolishing the Manteca High swimming pool on Tuesday.

The first step toward reshaping the Manteca High campus for its second century has started.

Crews this week are demolishing the Steven Winter Swimming Pool as part of the first phase of a $42 million modernization and expansion of the 99-year-old campus. The swimming pool is expected to be replaced within the next two years.

Once completed the overall project being funded with Measure G bond money and growth fees collected on new construction will provide Manteca High with the capacity to accommodate 2,250 students. Currently the campus has around 1,700 students.

The Manteca Unified School District board has opted to accommodate anticipated student growth in the most effective and cost efficient way possible by taking the three campuses within Manteca’s city limited — Manteca, Sierra, and East Union — eventually up to a capacity of 2,250 students each.

That is expected to avoid the need for a new high school campus for at least 15 to 20 years that could cost close to $200 million. The district is also facing modernization and other needs at existing campuses approaching $1 billion. The approach of maximizing existing high school and elementary campuses without creating negative impacts on educational programs is anticipated to allow the district to get the most bang from available bucks.

Work is also underway this summer on a new path or walkway that will tie a secondary student entrance that will be created near where the current swimming pool is located to the football stadium. The path will meet ADA rules.

The overall plan calls for:

The demolition of the small gym.

A new gym capable of seating 2,250 people would be built where the softball field is now.  

A new 25-meter swimming pool would be built roughly where the small gym is located.

The swimming pool being demolished will contribute some area to the new swimming pool but it will primarily become a sweeping entrance plaza to the campus’ athletic facilities and serve as a secondary student entrance.

A new softball field will be created opposite of the baseball field and be snuggled against the stadium entrance.

Track and field improvements will be made.

A solid wall will run between the student parking lot and the new large gym and swimming pool to help secure an interior portion of the campus and funnel all foot traffic entering from the south side through the entry plaza.

A 10-classroom building will be built on the southeast corner Mikesell Street and Garfield Avenue. A decision not to raze a six-classroom wing in the heart of the campus to create a student plaza that in part will be replaced with the entrance plaza would assure adequate classroom space for 2,250 students.

A one-way, one-lane driveway will come off of Garfield Avenue and run in front of the performing arts center and library to access the office area parking. The three exits/entrances along Sherman Avenue will be combined into one driveway at the farthest point away from Yosemite Avenue. Although no decision has been made on what direction traffic would move given there is a no left turn onto Yosemite Avenue for northbound Garfield Avenue traffic and the driveway’s proximity to Yosemite Avenue plus the greater distance from the driveway location on Sherman and Yosemite Avenue the likely traffic flow is probably east to west.

The section of Garfield Avenue the city is turning over to the school district where it is flanked on both sides by the campus will be re-worked into a plaza with one travel lane incorporated into it. The entry to the plaza and student drop-off lane would be secured with a wrought iron gate and could have decorative pillars on either side incorporating the beloved icon bell tower that was demolished providing it pencils out.

The one-way lane would allow drop-off to the entrance plaza by the new swimming pool with traffic then exiting onto Sherman Avenue.

The section of Garfield Avenue from a point south of the existing swimming pool to the edge of the student parking lot will be reworked into the parking lot. Space will be left for a travel lane that would be accessed for traffic coming off Moffat to attend athletic events. During the school day and at other times the southern Garfield Avenue entrance to the campus would be secured by a wrought iron gate.

Wrought iron fencing — such as is now along Sherman Avenue — will replace cyclone fencing for the most part to prevent from trespassing on the campus when school is in session or at night or on weekends when the campus is closed. There are several areas where the fencing is routinely cut by the homeless either seeking shelter on parts of the campus or seeking a short cut to Lincoln Park that is a popular homeless hangout or to nearby areas where the homeless bed down at night in areas tucked behind homes.

An 8-foot solid wall — likely masonry — will be built along the southern edge of the student parking to sharpen security and provide a visual block of adjoining property.

A cluster of classrooms will be demolished near the office to expand a student quad.

The JROTC classrooms will be relocated closer to the football stadium nearer the campus boundary.

ADA compliant parking will be created near the stadium entrance.

The second phase that will get underway in 2020 at the latest will involve building the gym, the new swimming pool, and 10 classrooms.

The final phase will involve modernizing various parts of the campus including the performing arts building and demolishing the classrooms and expanding the student quad near the office.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email