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Manteca High transformation may take 5 years
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Manteca High’s modernization and expansion to ultimately educate 2,200 students will likely take more than five years to complete once construction starts.

That’s because transforming the 98-year-old campus while addressing health, safety and growth needs is arguably the most elaborate construction undertaking ever attempted at a Manteca Unified campus.

The district plans to reshape and modernize the 45-acre campus in two phases. Exactly what is built first will be determined once the final design is adopted.

Classrooms, as example, to accommodate growth could be built first if existing classrooms are impacted by the final design that will determine where on the campus the new gym will be built. There will likely be two-story classroom structures built.

There are a lot of moving parts with the Manteca High undertaking.

On the table is the potential reorientation of the campus to face Moffat Boulevard that would involve land acquisition and building a new administration building. How the closed segment of Garfield Avenue will fit into the over scheme is another piece of the puzzle.

The district noted certain phases of construction will take priority over others based on maintaning a safe education environment for students utilizing existing facilities.

Manteca High currently has about 1,600 students. The campus has a design capacity of 1,703 students.

 The school board opted to have the Manteca High campus absorb the initial surge of high school students being generated from new home construction south of the 120 Bypass. The long-range goal is to cap enrollment at the five existing Manteca Unified comprehensive high schools at 2,200 students.

Such a strategy when the three high schools within Manteca’s city limits are grouped together — Manteca, Sierra, and East Union – will yield the rough equivalent of another high school based on the existing design capacity of the three combined campuses.

The 2,200 student enrollment cap was selected as the optimum size to be able to offer more educational opportunities without campuses getting too unwieldy.

The Manteca High campus was rebuilt in 1949 with new structures and modernizations taking place in 1993, 1996, and 2002. There are numerous program deficiencies related to structures including a gym that can only hold a third of the current student body at any given time.

The district owns land on Tinnin Road designated for a new high school. The cost to build a high school campus for 1,500 to 1,800 students is pegged at $140 million plus. The big ticket items are extending infrastructure to serve the campus and support facilities such as a gym, football field, swimming pool, and such. All three existing high school campuses within the city already have support facilities meaning the district can accommodate growth less expensively than building a new high school campus.

District Superintendent Jason Messer has noted a fourth high school campus within the city limits could still come into play at some point down the road.

Key tests now being done to determine Manteca High’s future have nothing to do with what goes inside classrooms.

Instead they are tests to determine what issues lurk underground and in the walls as the Manteca Unified School District gears up for an overall $40 million investment at the campus.

The tests will determine how much work needs to be done on electrical and plumbing systems, the condition of roofs, whether there is lead or asbestos behind walls and ceilings, and whether there is soil contamination.

There is $15 million in Measure G money set aside for the Manteca High campus earmarked exclusively to address health and safety and modernization needs. In addition the school board has budgeted $4 million in one-time redevelopment agency receipts and $21 million in growth fees collected from new development to go toward expanding the campus to accommodate growth.

How far the $25 million for situating Manteca High for growth goes depends on how much Measure G bond funding addresses health and safety needs.

Support facilities such as the gym will need to be addressed as well as campus security and flow issues. 

The next step is circulating requests for proposals for design services and then requests for proposals for lease-lease back construction services.

The lease-lease back allows for maximum flexibility in the construction process for not only making changes more nimble but provides incentives for the contractor to reduce costs allowing maximization of available dollars.

Throughout the entire process, the district plans to have continuous community engagement on the direction that Manteca High will take in terms of its new facilities.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email