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Study will determine price of aquatics center, gym, & fields
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The 55-year-old plus city swimming pool at Lincoln Park. - photo by Bulletin file photo

Manteca has developed a wish list for parks and recreation amenities.

Now it’s going to find out just how much it will cost.

The City Council Tuesday approved securing the services of LPA to develop feasibility studies and conceptual site plans for an aquatics/swimming facility, community gym/recreation center and additional sports fields. Those are the top three wants that were identified in the city’s first Parks & Recreation Master Plan adopted last year.

The cost for the more specific study in terms of possible location, facility size, and costs is $185,000. It is being paid for from fees collected on new growth for park facilities.

At least three council members have made it clear they want a concerted effort made to find joint projects with the Manteca Unified School District that the city could pursue to keep costs down. High on that list is a swimming/aquatics center.

The timing couldn’t be better. Manteca Unified has decided to remove its oldest pool in the district at the 98-year-old Manteca High campus to accommodate a new gym that will handle 2,200 students — the design capacity the current campus of 1,600 plus students is being reconfigured to house to accommodate growth.

The city’s own aging 55-year-old swimming pool at Lincoln Park is just two blocks away.

Councilman Richard Silverman said he’d like to even see “joint facilities” considered such as building an aquatics center with a community center if it can reduce costs.

Mayor Steve DeBrum and Councilman Mike Morowit have been meeting with two school trustees to explore possible joint projects. 

DeBrum said a performing arts center is one possibility. He’d also like to see a plan for the library developed and implemented.

To underscore the importance of the consultant looking at joint projects to save the city money, DeBrum asked Parks & Recreation Director Kevin Fant if the three projects — the swimming/aquatics center, community gym/recreation center, and sports fields — identified in the master plan had a $45 million price tag.

“That was the construction cost in 2016,” Fant noted.

Since then construction costs have been rising at a robust 5 to 8 percent a year. The end result is whatever dollars the city can generate from growth fees and a possible bond will not go as far as they would have two years ago.

Manteca Unified is facing he same challenge with soaring construction costs cutting into what they can do in terms of building new facilities.