The News Site of Fresno City College

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The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

Is Ratcliffe Stadium Safre

Photo by: Michael Lin
Fresno City College students and staff raise concern about Ratcliffe Stadium not fully complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Photo taken on May 2, 2024

Faculty and staff have raised concerns about Ratcliffe Stadium not fully complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). They are concerned that steps are not being taken to make the stadium compliant with the law.

Currently, seating for wheelchair users is only available on the visitor’s side of the stadium, not the home side.

Omar Gutierrez, FCC vice president of Administrative Services, said the college is aware that the stadium is not ADA compliant and that it will likely take a bond measure with voter support to generate the funds to make the needed improvements.

“We will definitely need community input and community assistance in order to do something like this. An input from the perspective of what does the community want from their stadium here,” Gutierrez said.

The stadium was opened on Oct. 9, 1926. In 1942 it was renovated and seats were added.

Derrick Johnson, the associate dean of athletics, said he is used to athletic facilities being overlooked.

”In my opinion, athletic facilities are not just important to the athletic department but they are important to our institution too,” Johnson said.

Johnson advocates that the stadium should be viewed as an extended classroom due to its widespread usage and importance in campus life.

“One can’t argue that the athletic facilities aren’t part of a focal point of this college because we utilize them so much and they are so over-utilized in some instances that some of our auxiliary services can’t keep up with the usage,” Johnson said.

Emily Rand, an athletic trainer at FCC, said that prior to COVID-19 there had been talks about addressing the ADA issue.

“If COVID-19 did not happen we might be further along in the process, but I know with redoing our stadium, it’s going to cost a lot. Everyone wants it to happen,” Rand said.

Rand explains that while the track and field facilities in the stadium are among several things requiring renewal, prioritizing ADA compliance may bring more attention as the stadium hosts events and classes.

“For someone who is handicapped, there’s no wheelchair easy access and the track is atrocious,” Rand said.

Gutierrez does understand that FCC uses athletic facilities and primarily the stadium to host events.

“Last year for example, we had the graduation, our main graduation last year. So, things of that nature in having that stadium be the home of something like this. I think that would be very impactful,” Gutierrez said.

Johnson said he believes all athletic facilities should be accessible to everyone.

“All of our athletic facilities are considered classrooms because when we schedule classes, no matter what sport, PE, athletics, health, CPR, first aid, we use all of our athletic facilities in giving instruction for those particular sports, programs, and the police program,” Johnson said.

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Brisa Serna
Brisa Serna, Reporter
Brisa Serna, a dedicated and multifaceted individual, was born in Phoenix, AZ, and spent much of her school years in the southwestern United States, particularly in Hobbs, New Mexico. Currently majoring in journalism, Brisa showcases her unwavering commitment to the dynamic field of media and communication. Her expertise extends beyond the classroom, as she actively contributes to the FCC Athletics page, assuming a key role in managing its social media presence. With keen editing skills, Brisa shapes and refines various forms of content, playing a crucial part in enhancing the online representation of the athletics community. In addition to her contributions to journalism and social media, Brisa is an accomplished portrait photographer, capturing the essence of individuals through her lens. This creative outlet allows her to express her appreciation for the art of visual storytelling. Brisa's dedication extends to the realm of education and mentorship. Currently assistant coaching at two high schools, she imparts her knowledge and passion for athletics to young talents, contributing to the growth and development of high school sports programs. This coaching role underscores Brisa's commitment to nurturing the next generation of athletes and fostering a positive impact in the community. Beyond her professional pursuits, Brisa is known for her enthusiasm for physical fitness, embodying an active lifestyle that reflects her commitment to personal well-being. An outgoing and hard-driven individual, Brisa Serna continues to navigate her journey with a dynamic spirit that resonates in both her professional and personal endeavors.  

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