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Manteca High library gets stylish makeover
library furniture
The MHS library has new furniture thanks to various grants. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT

It’s sleek, cool, and a product of the students.

Redecorating and restyling the inside of the Manteca High library was the biggest project thus far for the Careers Technical Education Interior Design.

So says Angie Anaya of her class consisting of students from Sierra High, East Union High, Lathrop High and, of course, MHS.

“We did the Tutoring Center and the Student Store (at MHS), but nothing this big,” she said at Tuesday’s open house / unveiling of the newly spruced up library.

Gone are the outdated reference books and encyclopedias — they’ve been re-purposed into a Pinterest-influenced stylish ottoman and coffee table.

“This place is much more inviting for students to their work, socialize and collaborate,” said long-time librarian Mary Buchanan, who added that the efforts here are part of “the vision and direction from Manteca Unified’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) for libraries in the learning commons.”

According to Anaya, she and her Interior Design students began discussions on re-doing the library as far back as the beginning of the school year in August.

It helped that she was part of the MHS Library Committee.

“It was a challenge,” said Anaya, who noted that those efforts began with a sparse budget.

The school color of green would obviously factor in the design plans. But in this case, the group settled on different shades of green paired with gray, black and white, using geometric patterns all painted by hand.

Students also had to pitch their ideas as well as outline their plans.

“They did all the work,” Anaya said. “They came up with the plan, the conception, the proposal and the implementation.”

The goal was to make the library fresh and inviting.

With it came new colorful furniture — high cafe tables and chairs, comfy modern sofa chairs, etc. — which, according to Buchanan, was made possible from various grants including the MUSD, Raymus and Schiffman. She credited Principal Frank Gonzales and Aaron Bowers, who is the district’s Director II Facilities and Operations.

As for the design ideas, Anaya indicated that her students used various online sources including Pinterest.

The actual work started a few months ago. But there were some stops and go along the way due to testing in the library during the month of February.

Meanwhile, Nita Reuben and Sylvia Chavez, both juniors at East Union, were part of the Interior Design team that worked on the Conference Room along with some of the lighting on the wall.

Speaking of which, Buchanan was impressed with the interactive chalk board wall, where students, teachers and staff can write messages.

MHS junior Lily Carter, who helped out in the making of the chalk board, was also part of the team in charge of the entrance to the library.

She was in the process of completing the final touches on the entrance: “Welcome, This is your library: This is a place to Discover, Learn, Have Fun, Explore, Investigate, Play, Relax, Connect, Succeed.”