Latest Edgewood Stadium Information

Questions & Answers (in italics) with MIKE ELLIOTT on PROPOSED EDGEWOOD HIGH SCHOOL STADIUM

August 6, 2017

SOUND

1)    On your website, you talk about the speakers being aimed low at the bleachers for a school crowd of 400. But if you anticipate offering the stadium to outside groups, and there is no cap on attendance, the volume and position of the sound system will have to be adjusted to be heard by all those people. How do you propose to contain the sound when you have, for example, 2000+ people on the field?

For safety reasons there will be a cap on attendance set by the city. 

We have worked very hard on a sound plan in order to address the neighbors’ concerns. We will not allow groups to bring in their own sound systems. Not all events will need or use a sound system. The sound design plan is a good one. It will be built so the sound will disappear into the crowd by utilizing sound panels at the top and back side of the seats. With the elimination of high speakers we will not experience sound drift like other stadiums. There are city ordinances for sound that we will follow and exceed where and when we can for our neighbors. This system is designed for flexibility to handle small and large crowds with the same controlled result. Sound, by design, will disappear into the crowd no matter the crowd size because of the aim, pitch and location of the speakers, combined with the use of sound panels located all around and on top of the seating.   

1a) You wrote that Edgewood would continue to host small events during the day with restrictions on sound. What kind of restrictions?

If allowed to do our proposed new seating, sound concerns will be greatly diminished. It is only an issue if we cannot move forward with our new site and have to use a regular out door PA system that is not designed for the site. Depending on the event and size of crowd we currently restrict most outside groups’ use of a PA. We would follow the master plan agreement in place to define hours of use, not before and not after, acceptable levels of sound and the number and kinds of events where PA sound could be used.  If an outside event like Girls on the Run requested usage we would make neighbors aware of the request and work with the event and neighbors to live up to the current master plan agreement for outside events and noise.

1b) Can you verify how many day events have been hosted per year in the past, and how this number would or would not be permitted to change going forward? Is there an upper limit you can provide to the number of daytime events you would be willing to host that would make use of the new sound system?

Most events on the field will not require sound systems. The number of events varies depending on weather. There are practices, classes, camps and events.              

2) Edgewood High School doesn’t have a marching band, at present. But outside groups might. Will you allow other schools’ marching bands to perform here? How about concerts, other schools' graduation ceremonies, WIAA?

We do have a pep band that plays a few songs at football games. Usually first half only. Schools do not bring their bands on the road unless it's a playoff so visiting teams do not have a band. Our plans are to host athletic events. We have no plans to do concerts. 

2a) You said that there are no plans for concerts to be held at a stadium. Would you be willing to include a prohibition against concerts in your amended Master Plan proposal? 

I would be willing to discuss this as a prohibition but I am not sure I have the authority to do so. It would need to go to our board of trustees. 

2b) Would Edgewood opt against making a stadium available to other schools for their high school graduations?

Again our primary focus is Edgewood events so yes, I feel that we could define usage and amount of usage as part of the agreement so it is fair to the neighbors and to Edgewood.

2c) Would Edgewood opt against making a stadium available for WIAA tournaments?

If one of our teams were playing in a WIAA regional or sectional tournament and earned home field advantage,  we would host. We just hosted the WIAA regional and sectional for girls soccer in June with no issues to the neighborhood regarding traffic, parking, noise or disruption. As a WIAA member we are asked to be a host at times for sectionals we are not in. As part of an agreement with the neighbors we would be willing to clearly define what is acceptable and unacceptable to host and how often.

CAPACITY

3)  You have said there would be 35 night games. That’s just for your high school. How many do you forsee for the college, grade school and outside groups?

We have consistently communicated that our goal is to play our 35 high school games on our field. We estimate 18-25 will require lighting. In the past we have allowed grade schools to play their tournament games on a few weekends during the day. The college has used the field during the day for soccer games on a weekend. When used by outside groups, attendance has been less than 100 people. 
 

3a) To the extent that Edgewood would permit the College, the grade school, and/or outside groups to use the stadium at night, is there an upper limit to the number of times Edgewood would permit this to happen?

Yes, we would work with neighbors to clearly define acceptable usage and the number of times night games could be held in a year. We have already defined the needs for our high school events. A limit to the number of events and kind of events is a reasonable request and should be part of an agreement.

4)  It sounds like there is no maximum to the number of people from an outside group that you’d allow to use your stadium, and no maximum set for your own high school events. Knowing this, what are the projections for frequency of daytime sound system usage? This is not addressed on your website. A max of 35 night games are mentioned, but not frequency of daytime usage.

Our goal is to host our high school events and the size, scope and frequency of these events have been defined. We are neighbors and our desire is not to cause issues for our neighborhood. There are groups who have used our facility for day events for years. These have been small groups, small crowds, causing no traffic and no parking issues. We would continue to host those small events with rules and restrictions to size, sound and the number held. If a special group such as Girls on the Run asked for a special event that may cause neighborhood concerns, we would make the neighborhood liaison committees aware of the request and discuss any concerns prior to accepting the event. 

 

PARKING

5)  At the March 28th meeting at Wingra School gym, the attendees were informed that there were 781 parking spaces on campus, and these spaces would be sufficient to handle parking for all events for a stadium. But your presentation on your website says there are only 561 parking spaces on campus for a stadium if you count the college and grade school spaces. Is the college and grade school really prepared to make available to the high school all of their parking spaces every time you ask for it?

The difference in numbers came up because we originally said we could handle overflow parking on our grass with 220 spots. The city said we could not count those spots for parking on a regular basis, only special events or emergencies, so we took those spots out. If you subtract out 220 spots from 781 you get 561. 

Yes the college and campus school have committed to our use of their spots on weekends and nights when they are not being used. Based on estimated attendance figures, we will only need their spaces a few times a year.

5a)  You stated that the college and campus school have committed to your use of their spots on weekends and nights - but clarified that this is possible only "when they are not being used."  How will you coordinate with the college and grade school to maximize parking spot availability on nights with large stadium crowds? (Please reference Appendix G of the Master Plan, which addresses this issue at present)

High school parking capacity is adequate to host most events. Campus school and college parking will only be needed for a few football games or if an outside event such as Girls on the Run was hosted. This will not be a nightly or weekly occurrence. We would know in advance when an event exceeded high school parking capacity and per the current master plan we would work with the Campus school and College to handle the parking needs of the event on campus. If it had the potential to be a disruption to the neighbors we would notify them of the event in advance.

6)    In the Wisconsin State Journal on April 10, you’re quoted as saying, “…the school, if needed, can access more college campus parking to provide a total of 1600 spaces.” How is this possible when your Master Plan states that the Overall Campus Supply is 894, the Overall Parking Demand is 1114, and the Current Overall Campus Deficit is 220? 

The 1600 number is what is approved in the master plan for the entire campus, if needed. It is not what is currently built. Currently there are 894 stalls, more than double of what our projected need would ever be. Our history has been a 1 car to 3 people ratio. Our largest crowd was 1200 so we would project our largest crowds would require 400 parking spots. We will have 331 high school spots, 30 we can use from the campus school at night and the college agreed to allow us to use 200 spots in their ramp which creates 561 spots. Based on our historic ratio of 1 car to 3 riders, that would cover a crowd of 1683. We have never had crowds of that size nor do we see it happening in the future. There is absolutely no need for more than 561 spots even though the college could give us double the 200 spots we asked for and still have stalls available for their needs on weekend nights.  I am unsure of where your parking demand number of 1114 comes from. I have clearly explained our parking demand.  We have an excess of 161 spots for our estimated maximum crowd sizes, not a deficit of 220.  If there are ever additional parking needs, additional parking is available on campus.

 7)    In June 2016, you hosted an outside group of 2,000 on the track & field. There wasn’t enough parking available on-site. Why are you still willing to host crowds of that size (and presumably bigger) when there isn’t enough parking on-site?

That event you describe was Girls on the Run, a first event for us and it was much larger then we were told or expected. We learned a lot from that day. We did not request extra parking from the college or the campus school and we did not have parking attendants to direct traffic flow and parking availability. A large event would not be held unless the parking for the event could be managed, with a plan and volunteers to work as parking attendants. We would need to determine the rider to car ratio. If it is like our events of 1 car to 3 riders, our campus would have the capacity to host an event of up to 2682 guests. It is not our intention to host events of this size, but that is a number the campus can handle for parking with a coordinated parking plan. Again while not our intention to host events of this size, with a parking plan and proper execution, 2682 is the crowd size our campus parking can handle.

8) Your “Complex Agreement” says under “Special Events” that “Edgewood will notify neighborhood leaders of any special event or EHS athletic event with expected attendance over 1200.” Notification means the neighborhood would have no say in whether, when or how often events of that size occur. What would that mean for residents on surrounding streets when they expect to host a party but find out at the last minute their guests have nowhere to park because there’s a big event at Edgewood?

In the answers to the above questions I have provided the numbers to clearly demonstrate that if we host an event, it will not affect parking in the neighborhood. We have enough parking on campus so that neighbors will not be affected. 

As to notification or say so, our main goal is to host our high school athletic events on our field. We understand that neighbors do not want something going on every night. We are neighbors, we will be respectful. I think we can discuss and agree upon what we all feel is reasonable.  Keep in mind for our high school events, historically, we have had one event every other year that has more than 1200 people so this size of crowd will be rare and not happen regularly.  Boys’ lacrosse crowds are 100 people, girls and boys track and field, 300-500, girls and boys soccer 100-400; these represent 28 of the 35 events. In addition, there would be 5-7 football games with average crowd sizes of 500-800. With these crowd estimates and all parking on campus, we do not anticipate causing disruption to our neighbors' lifestyles. 

 
LIGHTING

9)    Because of the height of proposed lights, and the slope of Woodrow Street, Woodrow houses will be much lower than the lights. Why does your website say glare will be eliminated by this “new downward-directed LED lighting” when the Woodrow residences would be lower than the lights?

I was happy that the neighbors on the lower end of Woodrow expressed their new concerns of light glow at one of our presentations. Since then we have presented that concern to our lighting experts. They came back with some great upgrades to our plan. We are planning on adding another row of pine trees at the top of the hill along Woodrow Street to act as an additional light and sound buffer. Our experts tell us this concern should be addressed by strategically placing new pines in a staggered arrangement along with the existing trees on Woodrow Street.

10) Your website says sky glow is a visible haze caused by light emitted or reflected upward, and your lights won’t do this. But visible haze happens with downward lighting when there is moisture in the air. Since Wisconsin is humid, are you aware that these lights will have a visible glow?

The lights that we have chosen are unlike any currently in use in the city and exceed the city's dark sky requirements. These lights are designed to eliminate the undesirable impact of light glow, light spill and light glare. The engineers tell us that excess glow caused from humidity would only apply if it was a very foggy night. If there was enough humidity to cause excessive fog, the event would be canceled for the safety of the athletes.

 

NEIGHBORHOOD RELATIONS

11) Your “Complex Agreement” under “Neighborhood Relations” says, “Any and all problems or issues brought up by neighbors will be addressed as soon as possible.” What kind of protocol do you envision for this? Describe it, please.

We will have an event coordinator or person in charge at all events for neighbors to contact in the event of a problem needing immediate attention. If there were issues to be addressed after an event, we would set up a meeting with the involved neighbor/neighbors or the neighborhood liaison committees to discuss issues.

11a) You stated that, "Any and all problems or issues brought up by neighbors will be addressed as soon as possible" in reference to issues that come up with events, and that "...the high school would have an event coordinator or person in charge at all events for neighbors to contact in the event of a problem needing immediate attention. If there were issues to be addressed after an event, we would set up a meeting with the involved neighbor/neighbors or the neighborhood liaison committees to discuss issues." Would this happen within two weeks after the event, or what kind of timeline do you envision?

I am going to assume as it should be that if there is an issue at an event we will hear about it that day, the following morning or on Monday morning following a weekend event. Depending on the severity of the issue it can be addressed immediately or when the appropriate people are available to deal with the matter. I feel the meeting regarding the issue should take place no more then one week after after the issue has been brought to our attention.  

11b)  Did you receive DMNA's letter summarizing the results of our initial survey, sent to you on May 4th? Please note that the letter contained suggestions of additional topics you might want to research and address as you continue to work with us on the parameters of a possible proposal. 

I did receive the letter and did see the additional topics. From the start our approach was to tell our neighbors what we wanted to do and why. I think our presentations and website information accomplished this. From there we wanted to identify the concerns and look for solutions to those concerns. At first there were 5 identified concerns, traffic, parking, usage, sound and lighting. I think it is fair to say parking and traffic concerns have been addressed. We continue to work together on usage. We feel we have excellent solutions to sound and lighting and are looking for the best ways to demonstrate those solutions to earn our neighbors trust and support. We understand the new concerns addressed in the letter and are working on addressing them.