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Patriotic colors part of design for Moffat Blvd. center
A drawing of the south exterior elevation of the proposed Moffat Boulevard Community Center. - photo by Image Contributed

Red and white horizontal striping with a blue accent in the upper left corner is part of the elevation facing the railroad tracks for the envisioned Moffat Boulevard Community Center that will primarily serve as the new home for the Manteca Veterans of Foreign Wars Post.

The City Council is expected to call for bids tonight for the $1 million project on the southwest corner of Moffat Boulevard at Industrial Park Drive/Spreckels Avenue kitty corner from the Spreckels Park BMX track. It is being paid for with bonus bucks collected on new homes in exchange for sewer allocation certainty.

The 3,153-aquare-foot building will have a plaza entry nestled against the Tidewater Bikeway route that elbows on the southwest corner of the intersection. It will also have an eastern entry opening to a long parking lot complete with 57 spaces. The entrance will be adjacent to the building while the exit will be near the railroad spur crossing Moffat Boulevard just west of the 120 Bypass bridge. It will have a sidewalk and landscaping strip with one row of diagonal parking spaces with stalls facing Moffat.

The building will include an office, restrooms, dining area, bar, kitchen, assembly area, and storage. The building itself will feature a modernistic roof line that dips toward the center with sweeping overhangs above both entries. The exterior walls utilize aluminum, other metals and stucco. The primary color on the three facades not facing the railroad tracks is similar to a burnt gold. Fencing similar to what Union Pacific has placed between Industrial Park Drive and the skate park will also be installed to separate the tracks from the parking lot.

The community hall is being developed on an acre leftover after development of the bikeway on right of way the city purchased from the now defunct Tidewater Southern Railway that served Manteca for years along with the Southern Pacific that was taken over years ago by the Union Pacific. 

It will push Manteca’s investment in revitalizing the Moffat Boulevard corridor over the past decade to nearly $9 million. The former southern Highway 99 entrance to Manteca at one time was viewed as the city’s seediest section. The investment includes a transit station, the BMX track, sidewalks with curbs and gutters, storm system upgrades complete with a retention basin that doubles as a mini-park, and overlaying the street.

As Manteca grows to the south, the Moffat/Spreckels intersection is expected to see an increase in traffic as it would be part of the primary route tying Central Manteca to the 1,049-acre Austin Road Business Park.

It was Community Development Director Frederic Clark who suggested the parcel that is 50 feet wide to accommodate a 40-foot wide and 80-foot long building to serve the community.

 City Manager Karen McLaughlin has noted sound deafening design elements can effectively mask most of the train noise in much the same manner as the transit station completed last summer.

The project is not replacing the community center that civic leaders have addressed as a long-term municipal project for Manteca. Nor will the building be for the exclusive use of the VFW.

The lease the City Council executed with the Jimmie Connors VFW Post notes the structure will be a public building. It will be available for rent by the public when it is not being used for its primary purpose of serving veterans groups and veterans events.

The lease is for $1 a year for 20 years. There are two 10-year options for renewal. The VFW will have first right of refusal to purchase the building and property if the city should decide at the end of the lease to sell.

The VFW will be responsible for all insurance, utilities, maintenance and operations connected with the building and the site as a whole.

It will mark the first time the VFW Post has had its own building to serve as its home. The VFW current shares space with the American Legion at that organization’s building next to PG&E in the 200 block of East Yosemite Avenue.

The city is on track to have the building completed by Nov. 1. That’s so those who have served America can observe Veterans Day on Nov. 11 at their new home.

The City Council meets tonight at 7 o’clock at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.