By Gerard Knuppel, M.A. Ed., C.A.A.
On Friday September 16th, the Clairemont High School Chieftains did something they had never done before: they played football at home at night. With a capacity crowd filling the home side of the stands, the varsity team beat Orange Glen for a perfect ending to an historic occasion, the opening of CHS’s new athletic stadium.
Before the game, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on the 50 yard line. The group included Area Superintendent Marian Phelps, Board member John Evans, Principal Lenora Smith, Peter Altomare and Anne McCarty, Clairemont Vice Principals, parent advocates Marge Fish (in memory of her father), booster Frank Marzynski, PTSA representative Maureen Atwell, Executive Director of facilities and planning Lee Dulgeroff, Ricardo Salido (ASB) and student advocate Ben Samuel.
At halftime a group of former CHS coaches and teachers were introduced and thanked, among them Russ Cravens, Jim Inouye, Steve Miner, Leroy Dotson, Art Anderson, Dennis Musial, and Ernie Beck. Hal Krupens and Manny Diaz were unable to attend and were missed by all. A special thank you went out to the superintendent of our construction project Matt Sarnecki of T.B. Penick along with the many people who had a hand in the stadium renewal or making it the best stadium in the District.
The ASB, under the direction of Meg Moore, topped off halftime with a fantastic fireworks display too!
Readers may recall voting in November of 2008 on Proposition S, a $2.1 billion general obligation bond measure, to provide funds for the San Diego Unified School District to repair, renovate and revitalize more than 200 schools. Nearly 69% of the voters supported the measure, and this is how the construction on Clairemont’s stadium was funded.
Even though the “Friday Night Lights” were the most dramatically visible change to the stadium, there were also changes made to make the facility more accessible for everyone.
The $7.6 million project included:
- New home-side accessible bleachers for nearly 1,600 people
- New home-side concession stand, ticket booth and announcer's booth
- New visitor's-side accessible bleachers for approximately 800 people
- New visitor's-side accessible parking, restrooms, concession stand and ticket booth
- Field amenities: athletic equipment storage building, field lighting, an artificial turf field, and a nine-lane, all-weather track
Along with the stadium work, complete renovations of the softball and baseball fields and the field hockey/soccer practice field were included as part of the overall project.
There are 2 more Friday night home football games this season: October 7th and the 14th. Come on out and watch the Chieftains and enjoy the fun of football under the lights!
Also, the $7.6 million project include the complete (accessibility/gender equity), and the field hockey/soccer practice field.
Gerard Knuppel, M.A. Ed., C.A.A. is the Clairemont High School Athletic Director for Girls Volleyball, Wrestling, Badminton, Adapted Physical Education, Athletics. Additional information provided by Cynthia Reed-Porter, Communications Supervisor, San Diego Unified School District
PHOTO CREDIT: Photos by Catie Stephens - Vuefinder Photography