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Plan includes new swimming pool, upgrades, better security as part of $42 million budget
MHS pool

Manteca High may not go too long without a swimming pool.

The aging pool — due to be demolished at the start of summer vacation as the first step of a $42 million upgrade of the 99-year-old campus — could end up being replaced within a year or so under a revised modernization and growth project. The new plan would also allow the district to squeeze out even more improvements to enhance the educational experience for Manteca High students.

“We didn’t want to risk another bond measure not passing and ending up Manteca High not being (a complete) high school,” noted Manteca Unified School District Superintendent Clark Burke.

The change in plans driven by the board direction to maximize the impact of tax dollars more effectively solves security issues, allows for athletic facility issues to be addressed, further enhances traffic flow, and better positions the campus to accommodate 2,250 students. It also reflects realities unearthed as more detailed looks took place of pressing issues. An example is the performing arts theater that saw upgrade costs balloon after engineers took a closer look at issues with the building including Americans with Disabilities Act access.

Burke noted that there will still be needs that won’t be addressed but the new plan will avoid creating a situation where Manteca High could go a number of years as “half a high school” in reference to support facilities such as a swimming pool, updated sports fields, and a modernized performing arts building.

“The work on the performing arts building was always going to be done,” noted Aaron Bowers who oversees facilities for the district. Despite a much higher cost than anticipated the performing arts work will still be able to be completed.

The new change keeps the front of the campus orientated toward Yosemite Avenue. Burke noted the district was unsuccessful in its efforts to purchase problematic property between the campus and Moffat Boulevard. That made the idea of flipping the front of the school less attractive.

The new plan calls for:

The demolition of the small gym that would have needed to have been retrofitted for new earthquake standards if it had been converted into an administration complex.

A new gym capable of seating 2,250 people would be built where the softball field is now. Originally a two-story classroom building had been planned where the field is today. The reconfiguration that was done allows single story classrooms to be built elsewhere on the campus and eliminates the need for elevators that are costly to install and maintain.

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.

Work will start this summer on a new path or walkway that will tie the area into the football field. It will meet ADA rules.

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 iconic 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  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 first phase that starts in June involves the swimming pool removal and the walkway to the stadium as well as relocating the softball field.

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.

The $42 million project includes bond funds for modernization and safety upgrades as well as development fees and residual redevelopment agency money for improvements needed to accommodate growth.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email