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Neil Hafley upgrades will cost $3.6M
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It will cost taxpayers $3.6 million to upgrade the Neil Hafley School campus or $600,000 less than what was originally projected eight months ago.

The Manteca Unified School District board when they meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the district office, 2271 W. Louise Ave., are being asked to approve an agreement with F&H Construction of Lodi that locks in the final guaranteed maximum price of $3,680,621 for the work that will be done.

District leaders use the lease-leaseback approach that controls cost overruns by plugging the contractor into the design process so any possible pitfalls can be identified up front as well as harnessing their expertise to find ways to do work needed either more effectively and for less cost or both.

The board will also be asked to finalize the schematic design phase for the Sierra High modernization project. There has been $11.9 million set aside for Sierra High work.

Both schools are part of the next wave of $159 million in bond projects made possible after voters approved Measure G in November of 2014.

The bulk of the health and safety work at Neil Hafley School involves replacing asphalt that has cracks as wide as 4 inches.

Other work is being done to existing classrooms to make sure they continue to meet health and safety issues. Work is expected to get underway in the coming months.

It’s what is not being done that underscores the predicament Manteca Unified finds itself in with available funding for addressing concerns at the district’s 30 plus campuses — none of the portable classrooms that have now been in use at Neil Hafley for more than 30 years are being replaced.

The district — realizing that $159 million would not make much of a dent in needs on existing campuses that had been pegged at $600 million but is now approaching $1 billion due to escalating construction costs — made clear priorities. Health and safety issues had to be addressed first.

Neil Hafley is an all-portable school in terms of its classrooms. The state expects portable classrooms to have a life expectancy of 20 years. The reason the Neil Hafley classrooms are in the fairly good condition there are in is due to the district over the years taking an aggressive stance toward keeping on top of issues as they surface.

That, however, comes at a cost. Maintaining portable classrooms cost significantly more than a typical “stick built” classroom.

The pavement at Neil Halfey School — as well as a number of other campuses — did not have the proper base used when they were first constructed. That has led to an acceleration of asphalt deterioration.

Neil Hafley will have drainage issued corrected and the proper base put in place to ensure a longer asphalt life.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email