Stouffer Field recently hosted several big events.
Rina’s Run, the Tom Moore Youth Classic Track and Field Meet, Ripon High Class of 2015 graduation, and Relay for Life were held in part to showcase the Ripon High stadium featuring about $1.3 million in donated infrastructure.
Instead, organizers behind the remodeling efforts that began in 2007 were appalled by the conditions of the facilities.
“I’m dumbfounded by the lack of maintenance at Stouffer Field,” said Vince Hobbs of the Ripon Community Athletic Foundation at Monday’s Ripon Unified school board meeting.
He and his wife, Stephanie, who is the president of RCAF, most notably, listed the bleachers and existing restrooms as their big concerns.
“The bleachers received some attention when (RCAF) first took on the stadium project eight years ago,” Vince Hobbs said. “The bleachers are over 40 years old and nothing has been done – we’re concerned about safety and (the stadium) being handicapped accessible.”
The Hobbs were at Stouffer Field to attend the graduation of their son. Lack of ADA seating in the stadium had them scurrying to put out folding seats in order to accommodate the physically disabled folks.
During the Tom Moore relays, Vince Hobbs came away disgusted with the poor conditions of the restrooms.
He listed broken toilet seats, soap dispensers, and detached door stalls among the problems with the restrooms.
“The bathrooms were so disgustingly overwhelmed by this crowd of about 1,500 (under the stadium max) that we had to place an emergency call to Windmill Portables to come to our rescue to service the two potties they have out here and bring two more,” said RCAF in the May 25 social media post.
The non-profit group noted that the event would have been hugely impacted if not for the support of Windmill.
“We urgently need new bathrooms,” added RCAF.
New restrooms are in the upcoming plans as the district has already pledged $100,000 to go towards the facility.
“This will help with the planning process but right now there are no funds for construction,” Vince Hobbs said.
He’s put in countless of hours and plenty of sweat on this project – Vince Hobbs helped with the construction of the infrastructure, football / soccer field, and installing the all-weather track – and would like to see the district step up with preventive maintenance.
The Hobbs are hoping to get better support from the district with this matter.
They recently met with newly hired Superintendent Siegrid “Ziggy” Robeson – she was the Colony Oak Elementary School principal for the past year – giving her a tour of the stadium last week in an effort to move forward.