The big concern for the Ripon Community Athletic Foundation was the unsafe bleachers at Stouffer Field.
Stephanie Hobbs, who is the president of the grass-roots group established in 2007 to update the stadium at Ripon High, described the spectator seats as “dilapidated” and “condemnable.”
Needless to say, she was thrilled last week to hear that the Ripon Unified school board gave the go-ahead for one-time money to go towards replacing of the home side’s bleachers.
“This is a huge victory for our community,” Hobbs said.
Hobbs added that “replacing the existing home bleachers is an enormous step towards a fully-revitalized stadium. However, we still need to replace the visitor bleachers, and the abominable bathrooms that are non-ADA-compliant and cannot support events held in the stadium.”
RCAF estimated the cost for this part of the project at $1.5 million.
“Throughout our eight years of fundraising and advocacy, Ripon has proven its passion by providing $1.6 million in resources to replace our track, field, scoreboard, and many of the peripheral components to the list,” Hobbs said.
The Ripon City Council, in addition, has again backed the RHS stadium project for the 2016 San Joaquin Council of Governments’ One Voice Project. This endorsement – approved at last week’s council meeting – will go along with the regional leaders to the One Voice trip to Washington, DC, in April.
“The SJCOG One Voice trip has helped raise awareness and credibility to our regional beneficial project,” said Hobbs, who will miss the trip for the first time. “Moreover, the collaborative partnerships I’ve built over these years will stretch beyond the RHS fences.”
Hobbs said the RCAF is committed to continuing to advocate politically, raise money through Rina’s Run and writing grants.
“Now is a perfect opportunity to sponsor, or volunteer for, Rina’s Run, and become a part of this exciting time,” Hobbs said. “If we can keep this momentum going, our stadium will finally be a cultural hub our kids and town can be proud of.”
For more information, call 209.599.6861 or go to www.rinasrun.com