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School summer repairs to the tune of $500,000
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Several schools in Manteca Unified will be greeting the new school year with new roofs and playground equipment, smooth pavements that were once cracked, newly replaced lighting units, new carpets on the floors, and fresh coats of paint in a number of classrooms.

All in all, the district spent around $500,000 on a number of maintenance projects that are being completed this summer while school is out.

At Manteca High, the principal’s office has been modernized and redesigned. The cracks on pavements have been fixed and repaired. New playground equipment have been installed or replaced in six school campuses. Several schools, like Golden West Elementary, had portions of their leaky roofs replaced. Lincoln Elementary had a number of structural repairs done to it which included removal of asbestos, since it’s an old building, and moldy walls.

“We definitely have been working very hard to get the schools ready for the return of the students,” said Deputy Superintendent Clark Burke.

This summer also saw 85 percent of the schools in the district set up to go wireless under the $30 million Going Digital project. This ambitious program, which will provide each student, teachers, and district staff wireless connectivity to the latest online technology, is expected to be fully completed in January 2015. Each of the 23,000 students in the districts 20 campuses also will have the latest state-of-the-art computers at their disposal through this program.

A number of the summer projects done to some of the schools involved the installation of alarms and security cameras. Others had their HVAC, or heating and air conditioning units, either repaired or replaced.

Many of the summer projects were funded through special funding from the state called deferred maintenance. The district gets an annual allotment from those deferred funds from the state to repair existing facilities.

There still remains a big bucket list of repairs and upgrades to overhaul the district’s many aging school buildings and other facilities. A draft list of all that needs to be done shows that the district will need half a billion dollars to make it possible. To meet that need, the district is looking at securing a $159 million bond measure in the November elections. The Board of Trustees is expected to discuss and then vote on the measure at their meeting on Tuesday to get it on the ballot in November.