Amador approves new shade structure plan


The shade structure will provide shade over this area, meaning that the lunch tables can be spaced further apart. It will extend from the hill to the right over to the senior cafe.

Amador Valley leadership, partnered with the We Are Pleasanton organization, recently just approved a 225 thousand dollar project to add a new shade structure in the lunch area that is projected to start construction by spring of next year. 

The shade structure is looking to allow for students to have more room instead of clustering around one area.

“The shade structure will provide shade over the area of the quad from the grassy hill to the senior cafe. It will be long aluminum poles with shade above. That way, we can space out tables a little bit more and space it out a bit more so people don’t have to cluster near trees and fight for the red umbrellas,” said Noah Marek (‘21). 

The structure is one of many improvements detailed in bond measure M. A bond measure often raises property tax to raise money for a cause – in this case, many improvements to the Pleasanton schools such as new science buildings. The money might take years to get used. 

“When measure M did not pass, I decided I think I can put a group of people together and we can fund some of these projects privately. I looked at the projects part of measure M and some that were not . . . I wanted projects that were very tangible . . . The shade structure at Amador is a very tangible project. It benefits a lot of students. It is very needed even as a safety issue, having the tables all squished together over there,” said owner of the SideTrack Bar & Grill and founder of the We Are Pleasanton organization Todd Utikal.  

There are some concerns from students about the costs and how the school is going to cover the 225 thousand or if it is even worth it. 

“I don’t think it is worth the 225 thousand dollar cost. For example, a brand new Tesla roadster costs 250 thousand dollars, the current fastest accelerating car in the world. It is somewhat bizarre that a simple shading structure that could be built from a couple sticks and pieces of cloth costs as much as the fastest car in the world, and in some areas of the United States, it is possible to purchase a permanent home for 225 thousand dollars,” said Joe Dai (‘23). 

Utikal thinks differently, however. 

“I put together some really good people in our community that are interested in helping our school with corporate sponsorship and donations. We are Pleasanton‘s goal is to fund this . . . we hope to raise money at the end of the year and hopefully get it down next year,” explained Utikal

We Are Pleasanton is a new organization founded by Utikal. If you are interested in helping or having any further questions, please contact Todd Utikal at [email protected].