Manteca High and East Union High are about to grow up.
They will become the first Manteca Unified schools to employ two-story classrooms.
The two campuses — among the oldest campuses in the Manteca Unified school District — are 102 years old and 56 years old respectfully.
As they have the biggest needs for modernization.
They are also the first two projects that will be funded with the $260 million Measure A school bond passed by voters in November 2020.
Each has a number of classrooms that need to be replaced as they are have too many problems and are too antiquated to be refurbished in a cost effective manner.
That includes 29 portables at EU that are almost 40 years old as well as 48 existing classrooms at Manteca High.
In addition, the district — in order to avoid building a $180 million plus high school to accommodate growth — opted to take high schools from program design capacities of 1,500 to 1,750 students to 2,220 students.
Between Sierran East Union and Manteca high schools that would allow almost 1,500 more students to be accommodated or roughly the current enrollment of East Union High.
Given both EU and Manteca are below the 60-acre size needed to accommodate that many students in single story buildings, the district decided to go up when building the replacement classrooms using Measure A funds.
The replacement classrooms are being complemented with new library/media centers. They also will have quads and stair areas easily turned into an informal classroom setting that pull in adjoining classrooms as well to create a concentrated learning hub at each campus.
The planned “learning stairs” for the first two-story classroom buildings expected to break ground in the next year or so first at East Union and then Manteca reflects the holistic approach the district is taking to maximize the bond voters approved.
They are building “learning stairs” that are wide, deep stairs that can be used like seats or bleachers either next to — or split by — traditional circulation stairs
Near the base of the learning stairs that lead to an open space quad is a raised concrete platform. The platform can be used by instructors that can teach using it and the learning stairs as an outdoor classroom.
It can also be used for student events or simply a place to sit between classes. The “learning stairs” per se will have outlets to charge devices incorporated into them.
The same basic plans will be used at both campuses.
The construction of the two-story classroom building and media center at East Union will take place on the grassy area in front of the school office between the student and staff parking lots along Union Road. There will also be a new quad created.
Manteca High’s two-story structure will be built along Sherman Avenue with 32 classrooms connected with a new media center.
It will be built after a two-story, 10-classoom structure is erected on land the district has just acquired to expand the Manteca High campus on the south side of Mikesell Avenue east of Winter Gym.
That work needs to go first to allow the demolishing of older classrooms where the two-story building anchored by the media center will be built. That will allow the district to avoid having to use portables for interim classrooms during construction.
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