Last year the North Coast Section Division II Football Championship game was an East Bay Athletic League hosted game as Foothill was the higher seeded team in the final, thus the host.
The Falcons fell 21-14 to Campolindo, but the Falcons lost more than a football game that night. The Campo parents complained to NCS about the school’s lack of ADA compliance, and the section then stripped Foothill of the ability to host any NCS events.
NCS told the Falcon's administration there would be no home NCS games or NCS events held on the Falcons football or track facility until the situation was rectified.
The ramifications were felt not just at Foothill but throughout the East Bay Athletic League. For starters, the NCS Tri-Valley Track and Field Championship needed to be moved.
It also meant the Foothill soccer and lacrosse teams would not be allowed to host NCS games.
It was a let down for all the athletes, but it was a situation that needed to be addressed and be remedied. Reportedly, all will be good to go at Foothill soon.
“The project is moving along nicely after an initial delay,” said Foothill Principal Sebastian Bull. “Concrete was poured (the week of Sept. 30) for the walls of the ramp and (the week of October 3) they poured the concrete for the actual pedestrian ramp and began to install the railing.”
Making it easy for the visiting teams’ fans to access the east side of the complex makes it nicer for both sides. No longer will the Foothill side of the stadium need to accommodate fans of both sides, it allows the fans to be on the same side of the complex of their team for support.
The ramp is just part of the project, with the remaining tasks to be set soon afterwards.
“Upon completion of the ramp, the work will shift to the lower path that will run along the bottom of the bleachers to allow access across the entire front of the bleachers,” explained Bull. "This all should be done by the end of October.”
There was not one person associated with the school that didn’t know the work needed to be done but funding was always the issue.
Once the community got behind the project, including groups like We Are Pleasanton, the ball got rolling and along with the school district, things got done.
Other improvements like extra lighting on the pathway from the parking lot, new sound system in the stadium and bathroom improvements will bring it all together.
There is no principal in the EBAL as invested in giving his student body all the tools needed for success as Bull. Spend time around him and you see creating the best environment possible for the kids is always the end game.
With that being said, seeing projects come to fruition is immensely satisfying, and that’s not just from an athletics perspective.
“This project is a huge benefit for our students and community to provide easier and safer access to the stadium,” said Bull. “The ramp itself will be used by our students and staff during the school day during P.E. or Adaptive P.E. classes so that all our students have equal access to the stadium.”
Events like the Foothill Band Review, one of the elite events for bands throughout Northern California, will also benefit.
Even the Foothill promotion ceremony that is held on the football field will reap the rewards. I have volunteered at Foothill graduations throughout the years, helping transport people to the field seating that could not handle the stairs.
It is a huge need, as the previous transportation route included a stretch of dirt road that resulted in clouds of dust for the carts to travel through. Tough on grandparents for sure.
“For our larger events for sports, band events, and graduation, the ramp will be a massive upgrade and create a more welcoming facility and a much safer option for anyone in attendance,” said Bull.
The much needed upgrades hardly pertain to just ADA requirements but has created momentum to bring the school facilities into current times.
“There are additional areas of need in the stadium, but this is a step in the right direction for our school and community,” said Bull.
It is a win-win-win, for Foothill athletics, the entire school and the Pleasanton community.