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Nile Garden School may get city water
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A solution to Nile Garden’ School’s contaminated water well is in the works.

Manteca Unified is working with the City of Manteca to secure a state grant that will allow treated water from the city to reach the rural campus south of Manteca.

The viability of the project is strengthened by residential growth taking place south of Woodward Avenue that will extend municipal water lines closer to the campus..

Students and staff currently use bottled drinking water at the school.

The project underscores the importance and long-term viability of Nile Garden School to Manteca Unified student housing needs.

The campus with its rural setting and high test scores has long been coveted by many families within Manteca’s city limits that want their children to attend school there.

District Superintendent Jason Messer noted given the size of the school — it houses more than 600 students — and its proximity to the fastest growing area in the district that consists of Manteca development south of Atherton Drive, the campus is critical to keep open.

Messer noted the board has made that clear adopting resolutions that New Haven, Nile Garden, and French Camp — despite being in somewhat rural settings where there isn’t a lot of growth — are crucial to not just housing students but maintaining strong performing schools. Nile Garden and New Haven are routinely among the top performing schools in the district while French Camp has made significant strides in improving student performance despite a high concentration of students of immigrant farm workers.

Deputy Superintendent Clark Burke points out building a  replacement campus for any of the three schools would cost between $30 million and $40 million apiece. That essentially makes a replacement strategy financially irresponsible.

The Nile Garden ground water is considered unsafe to drink because its arsenic content has been deemed to exceed safe levels for consumption.