Manteca High opened for its inaugural school year a century ago with two small classrooms in a pair of long wooden buildings covered with tar paper.
Those initial buildings that also included an office, library, and study hall were neither soundproof nor waterproof.
The first principal — W.G. Martin — also taught history and civics. The faculty consisted of two teachers. Neva Charles was the math and general science teacher while Irene Newton taught English and foreign language.
Before the second school year started in September 1921, three more classrooms were added to accommodate three more teachers.
Those initial temporary structures were built for less than $1,000. Nineteen men of the community had borrowed the money to allow the fledging Manteca Union High School District formed in a successful vote on May 19, 1920 to hire Dan Baysinger to build the structures.
The first school bond election in the Manteca area was conducted on Dec. 23, 1921 authorizing $200,000 in bonds. Thirteen months later, the permanent campus buildings complete with a 550-seat auditorium that included a stage that doubled as a basketball court was dedicated.
By the time a century is reached in January 2023 of that first permanent campus being built including the beloved tower that was knocked down on Oct. 3, 1969, Manteca High will be well situated for its second hundred years.
The $42 million worth of work now underway funded with a combination of Measure G bond receipts and growth fees will have been completed.
That work includes eight new classrooms just east of the Winter Gym, a new gym seating 2,161 that is being built along Sherman Avenue where the softball field was once located, a new swimming pool where the small gym once was, the remodeling of a Winter Gym locker room as an aerobics room, parking lot upgrades, and a walking plaza where Garfield Avenue once sliced through the campus.
The addition of the eight classrooms will provide the campus with a program capacity of 2,120 students to accommodate growth south of the 120 Bypass that is expected when the first foundations for new homes in the 1,301-lot Griffin Park project along South Main Street are poured in mid-2021. An agreement with the city allows builders to construct 250 homes a year.
Manteca High’s enrollment is currently around 1,700 students.
Even with the $42 million, there is still $62 million in needs involving classrooms, support facilities, and grounds to bring them up to today’s standards and modern functionality as well as aging infrastructure issues on a campus that when all buildings and infrastructure are looked at together has a composite age of 52 years. That makes it the oldest school among the district’s 33 campuses in terms of the age of buildings and infrastructure.
Thanks to passage of the $260 million Measure A bond on Nov. 3, the district expects to have contracts awarded to address much of the remaining work before the new gym and swimming pool are completed.
Whether all of the work needed can be done with Measure A bond receipts depending upon how all of the remaining Manteca High work stacks up against $427 million in identified structural needs to address structural, facility, and ground issues that currently exist throughout the district’s 33 schools. The district plans to weigh everything to make funding goes to the most critical needs first.
That leaves $167 million of which more than $40 million of it could be addressed if and when the state reimburses Manteca Unified for work that qualified for state bond funding for work done at the Lincoln, Golden West, Sequoia, Lathrop, and Shasta elementary school campuses.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org