After years of planning, fundraising and countless hours of hard work from an army of volunteers, supporters and donors throughout the community, the long-awaited dream of a state-of-the-art sports facility is now a reality at Northgate High School. With the installation of the bleachers in fall of 2011, the $2.75 million sports complex is now complete.
"This is a monumental occasion and a reason to celebrate," says Ralph Austin, President of the Northgate Community Pride Foundation (NCPF), who essentially quarterbacked the efforts to build the state-of-the-art complex at the school. "This has been a dream of many people – and many thought it was just that, a dream – and through teamwork and a determined belief in a vision, we have accomplished this goal."
The bleachers were part of the $1.25 million Phase III of the NHS Sports Complex that also included a press box and a new sound system featuring speakers mounted on the light poles. The permanent bleachers hold 1,500 fans, about three times the capacity of the rented set of bleachers the school used in 2010. The all-weather track and new field were completed in 2008, and the lights were installed in 2010.
The final piece of funding for the bleachers came from Measure C funds approved by the voters to improve facilities at MDUSD Schools. "This is public-private partnership at its finest," said John McMorris, Principal of Northgate High School. "We've been fortunate to have a dedicated group like Northgate Pride to raise the funds needed for this project and we feel it's important for the district to assist in finishing the sports complex. It's one of the only projects we have that is approved and can be completed this year."
Not surprisingly, strong support by the community has also been reflected in fundraising efforts, according to Tim Jochner, past President of NCPF and advisory board member. "As a result of the generosity of this community we've raised enough money to install the bleachers and finalize the project," he said. "We are thankful to all who have contributed to the NHS Sports Complex and now as a community, we can feel proud of our accomplishments."
"We're so grateful to Northgate Pride, the school and the district for their efforts," says junior Charlie Ucciferri, a varsity football player. "Whether it's football, track, lacrosse or any other sport, this just gives us a better home field advantage."
And home field advantage is what Northgate Pride is all about. In the past five school years, Northgate Pride has led the way in the opening of the refurbished Jack DeRieux Little Theatre, the installation of a state-of-the-art athletic field and all-weather track, and a new sprung floor in the school's dance studio. It is hard to find a Northgate student who has not been enriched by these additions.
The Northgate Community Pride Foundation is a recognized 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization founded in 1999 to aid in the improvement and enhancement of educational and athletic facilities at Northgate High School and serve as a model for other schools. Working with the school district, the schools, corporations, parents, alumni and students, NCPF has raised over $5.5 million for Northgate Schools.
There are many additional projects on our slate for the future. You can visit the Northgate Pride Webstore to donate to these projects online.