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Board may alter play to handle expected elementary growth
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Manteca Unified Superintendent Clark Burke conducts a tour of the Lincoln School office shortly after Measure G bond upgrades were made to the campus. - photo by Bulletin file photo

Lincoln School may not be expanded to 1,000 students after all to accommodate growth.

District staff — faced with skyrocketing construction costs and a commitment to maximize what money is available to construct facilities needed to handle growth — is proposing that the Manteca Unified School District board consider another alternative to housing additional students when they meet tonight at 7 p.m. at the district office, 2271 West Louise Ave.

The new approach is the result of the Facilities and Operations Department analyzing existing classrooms at all of the district’s elementary sites in areas that are expected to experience growth.

The new solution changes how the district “loads” classrooms with students by constructing spaces for program specific activities such as Read 180, Speech, Bi-lingual Aides, Intervention, Give Every Child a Chance, Kids Zone, DST and Program Coordinator Space.

If the board agrees that the new option is worth pursuing, they are being asked by staff to stop the existing project that would expand Lincoln School to 1,000 students to allow the Facilities and Operations Department to study how the alternative solution for loading existing classrooms can be implemented across the schools that are expected to be impacted by growth.

It could result in the district able to come up with space for hundreds of more students within existing classrooms by essentially reassigning programs to maximize space and constructing space for non-classroom programs.

Expanding Lincoln School by adding another classroom wing was part of the growth plan recommendations the board backed earlier this year. It was considered cost effective as underground infrastructure was put in place during the modernization at Lincoln. The campus also has the expensive support facilities such as multi-purpose room, cafeteria, and other non-classroom needs such as playground and parking space in place as opposed to a new elementary campus that would cost $30 million to build from scratch.

The other board adopted recommendations to accommodate growth are not being changed at the present time.  Those recommendations included adding classrooms needed to take the Nile Garden School campus up to 1,000 students and constructing the first phase of a new campus at the Ethel Allen Elementary School site in Lathrop’s Mossdale neighborhood to accommodate 400 students.

Nile Garden School is on the next list of campuses to have existing structures modernized as well as health and safety issues addressed. The work includes a new multi-purpose room. That work will be paid for from receipts of the $159 million Measure G bond measure.

Growth-related construction is being paid for from fees collected on new housing construction and other sources such as Mello-Roos taxes ,where applicable, and redevelopment agency receipts.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email