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All weather track for Ripon High by spring?
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RIPON – Stouffer Field may soon get its all-weather track.

At Monday’s Ripon Unified school board meeting, Ripon Community Athletic Foundation president Stephanie Hobbs mentioned the possibility during her update on the revitalization efforts taking place at the 70-year-old stadium.

“We’re so close to getting the all-weather surface,” said Hobbs, who is hoping to have everything in place to begin work in January.

“Our goal would be to have it completed in time for track,” she added.

Hobbs, meanwhile, was pleased with the response received from those who got first glance of the new-look facility during Ripon High’s 2012 football season opener against visiting Linden.

“We saw a lot of surprised people,” she said.

For the first time, they were greeted into Stouffer Field with a concrete pathway going from the ticket booth to the bleachers.

Trustee Ernie Tyhurst added that the opposing coaches were thrilled with the new-sod playing field.

The focal point of the stadium was the new scoreboard. This $87,000 contribution to the RCAF – installation reportedly brought the total donation to $100,000 – was made possible by Pacific, Gas & Electric.

PG&E officials were recognized for their generosity during the opening game dedication event.

The scoreboard drew positive responses from motorists traveling along Highway 99. So much so that local businesses are expressing interest in making donations for scoreboard recognition, Hobbs said.

RCAF started the grass-root effort to modernize the facility that services the entire community about five years ago. Along the way, the non-profit group managed to gather support from the community and local businesses.

Stouffer Field is shared by the RHS and Ripon Christian High football programs. The youth football Ripon Chiefs also calls this place home.

In addition, the newly-remodeled stadium was designed to accommodate the soccer programs.