Case Study: Maximizing Small Spaces and Addressing Accessibility

A Family's Tribute

Marin Catholic High School in Kentfield, CA, spent 20 years renovating their facilities across the campus. The final stage of completing the update was an overhaul of the stadium grandstands to provide Marin with a more modern and space-efficient spectator facility to include the construction of concessions, locker and weight rooms, and special alumni viewing accommodations. The project would also ensure Marin's stadium was compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

In addition to making the space compliant with ADA and other regulatory codes, the high school needed to utilize the existing small space and accommodate a growing student athlete population. This resulted in a very important project goal to utilize space beneath bleachers to house the desired training rooms, concessions, and restrooms.

The stadium was funded mostly by the Ghilotti family and friends. Dino Ghilotti was a class of 2009 student-athlete who passed away unexpectedly in a car accident in 2013. Additional contributions were made in kind and in cash toward to meeting the fundraising goal of $4.2 million. The remaining amount was funded through the local Catholic community and devotees of Marin's athletic department.


Design and construction teams together created a vaulted angle structure using the same space allotted for the former bleachers. The vaulted design improved on-field action views for all spectators. The height of the first row was 10-feet higher than the previous row to allow additional amenities under the seats. Total height of the structure remained consistent with the former structure to accommodate space limitations. Architects designed new grandstands to support steel and aluminum bleacher systems with benches and fixed seating.

The full stadium also included a modern press box, fully accessible ramps and ADA accessible seating. Accessible ramps and handrails were added to the parking area for compliance.

Dino Ghilotti Motta Stadium, completed in October 2014, now seats 1,242 people. The grandstands also features 152 stadium seats for donors and an alumni viewing area. Project members were able to build a stadium with innovative space utilization to ensure Marin Catholic High School student athletes have a top-notch sporting and physical education experience. In late 2014, the North Bay Business Journal selected the stadium as a North Bay Top Real Estate Project in the Education category.

"Marion Catholic is about tradition and community, and I believe this facility fosters that in every way." - Tim Navone, Marin Catholic President

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