Before the first-ever game was to be played at the new gymnasium at Manteca High, Principal Frank Gonzales thought it was important to make official with a ceremonious ribbon-cutting event.
That occurred Thursday just before the Buffaloes (8-4 in the preseason) volleyball squad’s Valley Oak League opener against visiting Kimball (5-3).
This 2,250-seat gym is about three times the size of Winter Gym. Gonzales made it a point to thank the Winter family during the gathering at Pennebaker Plaza – the latter was one of the early leaders who was instrumental in the making of MHS.
Gonzales acknowledge Steve Winter, who was also a former principal at the school, for his “pride and loyalty to MHS.”
The new 30-meter swimming pool is part of the gym complex.
According to Manteca Unified’s Director of Facilities & Operations Aaron Bowers – a 1999 graduate of MHS – was “four years of planning and construction efforts,” he said.
Several funding sources including $154 million Measure G bond made possible the facility as designed by Rainforth Grau Architects, with CT Brayton & Sons as the general contractor.
“This new facility is for you,” said Bowers to the students in attendance. “It’s here that he’s hopeful that they will “learn, compete and even succeed.”
Student Body President Kailah Little proudly accepted the new facility on behalf of the MHS student body. In addition, she recognized the school administrators and staff in attendance at the ribbon-cutting event.
Student board member Daizy Espinoza – she serves as the ASB Vice President at MHS, as well – welcomed the MUSD officials consisting Superintendent Clark Burke and members of the school board.
She sees the new gym and pool for both current and future students as a place for them to “build a foundation for the future,” she said.
The four current class presidents – Salvador Suarez, Emily Inderbitzin, Tyler Watkins and Riley Ward –had the honors of doing the ribbon cutting, marking the opening of the new gym and pool.
The gym and swimming pool is part of a major modernization project as well as campus expansion to take the program enrollment up to 2,250 students.