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Sierra High gets OK for $400,000 field work
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Taking the initiative paid off for Sierra High School when a fundraising effort spurred the construction of the district’s first all-weather track almost a decade ago.
And now a similar effort will land the school one of the first new stadium playing surfaces recently committed to by the Board of Education as a renewed focus on overhauling, rehabbing and maintaining the grass facilities that are utilized for outdoor sporting events.
On Tuesday, the Manteca Unified Board of Education voted 6-0 to approve spending the 2018/19 field maintenance allotment a stadium overhaul that will resurface the aging synthetic track and give the campus one of the first Bermuda-hybrid fields that will eventually become standard at all campuses.
Sierra’s placement atop the list was spurred by the fact that the school had already funded some of its own engineering work to repair the high crown in the football and soccer field, according to Superintendent Jason Messer. The safety element put it in the same class as Weston Ranch when it came to setting the order for which of the comprehensive high schools will go first.
The $400,000 project, which will include a $200,000 track resurfacing component as well as the $125,000 field and the necessary equipment to maintain it, wouldn’t likely be available for use until the fall of 2019 – and that is contingent on whether the district can contract with the firms that do that kind of work which are in high-demand for districts throughout the State of California.
The actual cost of the project could come in below the $400,000 mark if the district is able to secure a used lawnmower capable of mowing the new grass type – cutting the $40,000 cost down to about $15,000 if available – and save the built-in contingency intended to offset the escalating cost of construction in the booming Central Valley.
Both Principal Steve Clark and Assistant Principal Anthony Chapman – the former track coach when the synthetic surface was installed at the campus – spoke in favor of the proposal before the board formally took action.
Trustee Nancy Teicheira, who was instrumental in getting a stadium built at Sierra High School almost a decade after it opened to students, was ill Tuesday and not able to participate in the discussions or vote on the matter.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.