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Groundbreaking May 25 for upgrade of Ripon High’s football field & track

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Groundbreaking May 25 for upgrade of Ripon High’s football field & track

An overall view of work planned for the Ripon High football field.

Rendering contributed/

POSTED February 10, 2012 12:59 a.m.

RIPON — Ripon Community Athletic Foundation (RCAF) is breaking ground on the Ripon High stadium upgrade on May 25.

RCAF started spearheading a grassroots effort in 2007 to upgrade the football field and track at Ripon High School.

The existing facility is over 70 years old and is the only football field and track with seating in the community. The track is six lanes wide, but only five are useable. Moreover, it’s less than ¼ mile in length and has an unpredictable surface of soil and clay. The field and track have not been addressed since they were last upgraded in the early 1970s, when the track was graded and compacted, the irrigation system repaired and new turf was planted.

At that time the field and track supported the football and track programs from one high school with an enrollment of 370 students (now over 900 students). Since that time field usage has grown to support the high school’s football program, the football program for the adjoining Ripon Christian High and two youth football programs. In the 1970s there were 15 football games played on the field over 13 weeks. Today, over the same periods of time, there are 75 games played on the same field. The track supports a track program that is double the size of the 1960s program.

Because it is not regulation size, only dual meets can be held on the track. The community cannot host league, subsection or section meets due to the non-regulation size of the track. This revitalization will open Ripon’s only stadium up to soccer for the first time, regional events, and increased physical activity for more youth in the Ripon community.

Thanks to several generous donors, RCAF has broken ground on initial aspects of Phase One for a regulation-sized football/soccer field and 8-lane dirt track.

Donations include: Demolition, surveying, heavy equipment, some sprinkler parts, asphalt for areas behind end-zones (“Ds”). The Ds behind the end-zones needs all-weather surfacing which costs $85,000. This surfacing is required for track events. Phase One total cost is $1,126,469. More than 200 donors to date will have permanent recognition in the new facility.

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