Retzlaff’s Eagle Service Project improves access at Surprise Stadium | SierraSun.com

Retzlaff’s Eagle Service Project improves access at Surprise Stadium

Special to the Sun
Courtesy photoStein Retzlaff stands by the (snow covered) wheel chair accessible ramp he designed and built for an Eagle Scout Service Project.
ALL |

TRUCKEE, Calif. – Stein Retzlaff, a Boy Scout in Truckee’s Troop 267, planned, organized and executed the construction of a new ADA compliant ramp at Truckee High School’s Surprise Stadium. Beginning in May of 2011, he began planning to improve the accessibility for handicapped persons on the visitors’ side of Surprise Stadium.

Originally, handicapped visitors were only capable of viewing the sporting events from the home side because the ramp was covered with cobbles and debris and at a slope too steep for wheelchairs. In addition to the ramp, two portable toilets on the visiting side were precariously tilted on a slope. “I constantly heard comments regarding the poor condition of the ramp leading to the visiting bleachers and I wanted to organize a project that would greatly improve the accessibility and appearance of the ramp. I also wanted to do a project a Surprise Stadium because I have played so many football games there,” Stein said.

With the approval of Truckee Tahoe Unified School District, Ricci Fisher, head of maintenance, Rob Koster, project manager, Dr. David Putney, Truckee High School’s principal and Bob Shaffer, Truckee High School Football Head Coach, Stein began preparing for his volunteer work days.

Rob Koster and Ricci Fisher helped Stein with the guidelines and regulations necessary for the new ADA compliant ramp. Also, John Andrews and Rob Cofer aided in the application process that needed to be approved by the Nevada Area Council in order for the project to begin. Dave Theis also donated time to operate equipment donated by Truckee Rents to maneuver materials throughout the ramp the day before Stein’s planned project date.

By Oct. 30, 2011, Stein had drawn up plans and staked out the ramp, a 10 x 14-foot viewing pad at the top of the ramp, and a pad for two portable toilets. Twenty-seven scouts from Troop 267, assistant scoutmasters, and additional adults showed up for this part of the project. Work began at 8:45 a.m. and was finished by 2 p.m. After this phase of the project, the two portable toilets were now situated in an area accessible to all and placed on a level pad of three inches of compacted decomposed granite.

On Nov. 13, 2011, phase two of Stein’s project commenced. About a week and a half earlier, Jude Goodpaster donated his personal excavator and time to cut the ramp to the designed grade with help from Bill Hudson and Dave Huggins. Stein planned on the troop making wood borders that would hold the shape and width of the ramp. The troop would also be constructing 5 x 5-foot flat platforms every 50 feet of run and 30 inches of rise. Once wood borders surrounding the ramp, 157 feet long and 5 feet wide were set, they filled in the ramp with decomposed granite later compacted with a plate compactor donated by Truckee Rents. Ten scouts, assistant scoutmasters and other adults completed this part of the project in two and a half hours.

The TTUSD maintenance department built a new gate that serves as the new and improved entrance to the visitors’ bleachers.

Stein’s project was a huge success thanks to Truckee Rents, The Rock Garden, Truckee Boosters Club, TTUSD maintenance department and other staff members, Troop 267 of Truckee, John Andrews, Rob Cofer, Bill Hudson, Jude Goodpaster, Dave Theis, Rob Koster, Ricci Fisher, Coach Bob Shaffer, Thor and Wulfe Retzlaff, Sonya Retzlaff-Huggins and Dave Huggins who helped him throughout every phase of his project.

Stein spent 93 hours of his personal time on this project and it took a combined total of 363 hours to complete.

Retzlaff used this project as criteria to help attain the rank of Eagle Scout. The Eagle project is one of the last requirements for a scout on his trail to the Eagle rank. It is the final service component that demonstrates leadership skills and serves to accomplish Boy Scout of America’s (B.S.A.) core objectives of strengthening personal fitness, character and good citizenship.

– Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com