By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Ripon foundation gives $30K for Stouffer Field
The Ripon Community Athletic Foundation presented the Ripon Board of Education with a $30,000 check to cover the cost of necessary architectural design work that will make the renovation of the community’s Stouffer Field a “shovel ready” project. Pictured, from left, are RCAF board members Nick Hardenbrook, Stephanie Hobbs, Keith Anderson, and Percy Howard presenting Ripon Unified Board President Larry Stewart and Superintendant Louise Nan with the check. - photo by Photo Contributed
RIPON – The Stouffer Field Revitalization Project took one step closer to being a reality last week.

Representatives from the Ripon Community Athletic Foundation – the grassroots organization that is pulling together donations to finance the project that will completely overhaul Ripon High School’s aging stadium – presented the Ripon Board of Education with a $30,000 check to cover the architectural design work needed before anything can proceed.

RCAF President Stephanie Hobbs said that the move will make the project “shovel ready,” and signifies a quickly-closing window for community members that want to offer input into the design. The project will include a state-of-the-art synthetic field surface that designers claim cut down on injuries like concussions caused by helmet-to-ground contact while providing the “give” that other synthetic surfaces lack to help cut down on knee and ankle injuries.

“Right now the design of the stadium’s track, field, and bleachers are being finalized, so if anyone has any suggestions or concerns about those they need to communicate them as soon as possible,” Hobbs said. “This is a grassroots community effort that is supported so far by over 90 businesses and 250 individual donors through both cash and in-kind donations.”

By having the project ready to begin, Hobbs said that the group will be able to secure more in-kind donations from businesses like contractors and construction companies that will have plans to work with – taking the next step from the rendering that the group had completed two years ago to show what the project would tentatively look like.

And whether it will receive any redevelopment agency funding from the City of Ripon has yet to be seen.

Through a partnership with the Ripon Unified School District, the RCAF was able to get the project placed on the RDA “wish list” which technically makes it eligible for funding if it were to be approved by the City Council.

The City of Turlock is currently working toward the renovation of the city’s aging Joe Debely Stadium – initially setting aside roughly $2 million to fund the overhaul before a citizen’s group filed a lawsuit that challenged the move. A Stanislaus Superior Court Judge had ruled that the city did act within its right to do so, but also allowed the group that filed the lawsuit the chance to amend its case.