Graduation at Ripon High last week offered more than its fair share of celebrations.
First and foremost, members of the Class of 2021 received their diplomas in front of family, friends, teachers, staff, administrators and dignitaries.
For the Ripon Community Athletic Foundation, it was a crowning achievement of the past decade or so with a short community celebration prior to the commencement exercises on Friday – Ripon Unified School District Superintendent Ziggy Robeson and Principal Keith Rangel in a ribbon-cutting ceremony of the recently-completed RHS Bathrooms/Bleachers Project spearheaded by CT Brayton & Sons Construction.
Those using restrooms or peering into the ticket booth often commented on the new-home smell. Another project taking place at about the same time was that of the stadium entryway, consisting of the recently-paved 14-foot-wide ADA-compliant walkway spanning to North Acacia Avenue to the ticket booth, and also featuring newly-planted Bay Laurel trees along the freshly-sodded Bermuda grass.
“This was the first student event held at our completely revitalized stadium,” President Stephanie Hobbs said.
It had been a long road to get to this point. She and her husband Vince Hobbs, who is the RCAF Projects Manager and currently on the Ripon Unified school board, had visions of making a nearly dilapidated Stouffer Field into jewel of the valley.
They were among a small group with “like-minded aspirations” in renovating the RHS stadium.
Donations along with support from the local school districts coupled with the countless hours by the group of volunteers over the years made possible the football / soccer playing field surrounded by the all-weather track, home bleachers, press box, field-event venue (shotput, discus, long jump, triple jump and pole vault), and a double-sided LED screen scoreboard, just to name a few.
The RHS Bathrooms / Bleachers Project and the stadium gateway were the final pieces of RCAF’s work.
RCAF is planning another celebration for donors / community.
“This will be right before the first varsity game,” Stephanie Hobbs said.