Latest Edgewood Stadium Information

Please check back here often for ongoing updates on the possible proposal by Edgewood High School to add a stadium, complete with facilities, lights, and amplified sound, to its existing practice field.

May 4, 2017: The Dudgeon-Monroe Neighborhood Association conducted an online survey of the neighborhood from April 8, 2017 - April 30, 2017. Since there is not yet a formal proposal from Edgewood, the purpose of the survey was to gather and provide feedback to Edgewood. Please see the letter below that DMNA sent to Edgewood about the feedback gleaned from the survey.

Mr. Michael Elliott
President, Edgewood High School 2219 Monroe St
Madison, WI 53711

Dear Mr. Elliott,

Edgewood High School (EHS) has requested feedback from the Dudgeon-Monroe Neighborhood Association (DMNA) on a possible proposal to add a stadium to its practice field, complete with facilities, lights, and amplified sound. To this end, the DMNA Council conducted an online survey of its residents that ran from April 8, 2017 through April 30, 2017. During that time DMNA received 261 unique responses from residents of the Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhood, comprising 212 distinct households. DMNA is very pleased with this response rate. The good news for EHS is that an overwhelming majority (i.e. nearly 9-in-10) of respondents indicated that they had received enough information from EHS and the community to form an opinion on the subject. DMNA has appreciated the level of neighborhood engagement that EHS has provided so far, and several survey comments reflected a similar appreciation. Of those who said they still needed more information, the most commonly cited questions included: a request for an actual demonstration of the light and sound mitigation technologies; more specifics on the times and frequency of use of the facility; and an explanation/mutual understanding of what kind of recourse neighbors would have if EHS agreed to certain limitations that were later violated. Should EHS choose to pursue this proposal further, DMNA strongly encourages EHS to continue its neighborhood engagement activities and address these additional questions.

Unfortunately for EHS, less than one-third of respondents indicated support for a hypothetical proposal by EHS to construct the stadium as described. Notably, only 21.1% of respondents felt that they would personally benefit from an EHS stadium, while 61.7% felt that they would personally be harmed; 23.0% felt that the Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhood would benefit, while 67.8% felt that it would be harmed. Please note that these statistics have been generated from data that was not weighted in any way, e.g. by proximity to the proposed stadium site. The most common reasons given for a positive impact on the community included the ability to walk to neighborhood sporting events and increased economic activity in the neighborhood’s business districts; that said, several respondents expressed frustration that EHS had not itself more clearly articulated an expected positive impact on the community.

Many respondents expressed concern about the impact of lights, amplified sound, traffic, parking, and usage, even though EHS has suggested that new technology would minimize impact in these areas in its presentations. In addition to these concerns, DMNA would like to bring to EHS’s attention a few other categories of concern that routinely surfaced in the survey responses:

--Impact on property values of both immediate neighbors and the general neighborhood • Mitigation of crowd noise, independent of amplified sound (e.g. sound barriers, etc.) A possible deterioration of the safety and security of the neighborhood (e.g. increased presence of non-neighbors making it harder to identify suspicious situations)

--The seeming conflict between the Monroe St reconstruction timeline (spring – fall 2018) and the construction timeline for an EHS stadium (i.e. is that timeline even possible)

--Duration of night games/activities in conflict with the bedtimes of young children Again, should EHS choose to pursue this proposal further, DMNA would strongly encourage EHS to address these concerns proactively and forthrightly, much in the manner that EHS has begun taking so far in addressing concerns about light, sound, traffic, parking, and usage.

Since EHS has not yet formally made any proposal with regard to a stadium complex, DMNA has determined that it would be inappropriate to take a formal stance at this time. We present the information in this letter to you as a gesture of good will, as we believe all parties will benefit from EHS’s ability to understand the concerns of its neighbors and its willingness to address them head on. The specific details of an actual proposal by EHS, EHS’s commitment and ability to address its neighbors’ concerns, and EHS’s willingness to work with DMNA at all future steps in the process will all inform any official stance DMNA might eventually take on this issue. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

On behalf of the DMNA Council,

David Hoffert
President, Dudgeon-Monroe Neighborhood Association

Cc: Sara Eskrich, District 13 Alder
Cc: Craig Stanley, President, Vilas Neighborhood Association
Cc: Dan O’Callaghan, President, Regent Neighborhood Association 

 

March 28, 2017: Edgewood gave a second presentation to the neighborhood about the outlines of their potential proposal and what they expect to do to mitigate known concerns of the neighborhood. Please see below to read the minutes of the March 28, 2017 meeting taken by the DMNA Secretary.

EDGEWOOD HIGH SCHOOL GOODMAN ATHLETIC COMPLEX MEETING

LISTENING SESSION – MARCH 28, 2017

Mike Elliot Pres Edgewood HS, on liaison committee

This is the same presentation as was presented prior, with some information / changes to presentation based on solutions or answers to questions concerns expressed at past meetings. They have feedback on one concern and that is that they are willing to plant additional trees around stadium to be buffers, will not be an issue to do so, so this information was not added to presentation. Stadium seating of 1300, with no storage, low profile of 20 rows and a small press box. Will be no taller than aluminum bleachers already there. The back side will have storage underneath, a concession booth, ticket booth, team locker rooms ADA accessibility and restrooms

Traffic and Parking

Sporting events are not overly attended, and with the exception of football, all sports have already been held at this field at some time in the past. Football attendance is similar to that of their basketball crowds, max attendance <= graduation ceremonies. There is surface parking of 261, they are adding 70, campus school parking adds 30, college overflow parking ads 200, and the HS grass overflow allows for 220 more for a total 781 spaces to handle all events. Only the maximum football attendance would require all of these areas as overflow parking, so it’s not likely that there will parking in neighborhood streets.

Usage

HOURS events, # lights, lights out

·       Football: 400 – 1200attendance, 7 home events using lights, 5-7 lights used, lights out at 9:45 (1200 is every other year when play Waunakee, don’t play them for 4 more years, may not play them again due to changes in the conferences)

·       Soccer boys:- 100-400 attendance, 8-10, 5-7 lights used, lights out at 9 pm

·       Soccer girls: same as boys

·       Track and field: 300 – 500  attendance, 1-2 home events, 2-4 lights used, lights out 9

Of the 26-35 events, only 18-27 will use lights. Late spring, early fall soccer and lacrosse would not need lights.

Sound

The stadium is lower than the hill; there are only seats on one side of field, on school side, so the sound should project toward school. Speakers will not be high in the air, so no sound drift. Like a surround sound, sound deadening on back of seating at top of stadium. Speakers on ground and aimed only at stadium. No speakers pointed at Monroe or Woodrow Streets

Lighting

Spill light, glare, sky glow are concerns which are controllable with installation height, newly designed fixtures (technology) (He showed diagram of the proposed lighting). They will be mounted at 70’ to shine down at acute angle to keep light to stop at edge of field. Fixtures are designed for glare control – flat surface LED light that angles down, no light escape from top or sides, can angle toward field. They are working with Musco lighting to have a demonstration of the lighting

SUMMARY

They want to keep more of their events on campus for student safety, liability, school spirit, etc.  They will follow noise ordinances to be below city requirements; will exceed city dark sky requirements. The goal is for athletics to have home games and lessen burden of traveling students across the city.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q: Number of attendees – emphasized only one football game that was big – so why build stadium for 1300? Does it have to do with having other teams holding games? Did say in proposal that they might rent it out.

A: They want to be able to host a playoff game. To hold West HS, for instance they would need 2000 seats, therefore it is not a goal to rent it out since other schools would require more seating.

Have had youth leagues use it on Saturdays / Sundays for soccer, touch football, etc., small intramural leagues have used field in past. But no night games other than their own games (no rental games) without permission of neighborhood and liaison committee.

Q: Usage will be limited to athletic events, no other outside entertainment, and programs, nothing other to raise money for school?

A: Yes. No concerts, no Edgefest, etc.

Q: What would it take to not move forward?

A: They don’t know what will happen with their continued use lease with Middleton’s school; they are past their agreement to continue to use Middleton’s field. They will continue to solve problems that people present, they have always wanted to do this and hope that they can prove that crowds will not cause problems, that lighting will not be a problem, etc. Will keep listening to objections to come up with solutions. This is something that is meaningful to the school, alumni, etc. Edgewood gets the last choice to play on other schools’ fields, can’t get teams to come play on Wednesday nights, league doesn’t want them playing on Wednesday nights.

Q: Commenter spoke with Edgewood parent with other ideas of stadiums such as purchasing land elsewhere, create facility there with parking, can you comment on that as a longer term solution.

A: College has been looking at something like that. (Athletic Director - AD) The city public use and schools use have held meetings last few months with that kind of proposal. Edgewood has not been looking at his, the city may be. Supporting a practice facility and a playing facility would be costly.

Q: How often will lights be on in addition to games (practices, etc?) (EX – rainy nights when it is generally dark)

A: Can limit this with agreement, there are a few weeks in fall depending on playoffs where they may need lights during practice. AD – it would be rare that would need lights during fall for football; only time would be if make playoffs and the season is extended, also daylight savings time shifts, but practice doesn’t go past 6:30. The hope is that lighting is a non-issue due to new lighting tech. They don’t play in Nov, Dec, Jan. Two seasons of 2.5 months each.

Q: Amplification of sound – consider voices and no music, dB level they will limit to.

A: Will follow city ordinances, told by sound engineers that they could diminish what those levels due to sound deadening and design of speakers broadcasting to bleachers and not to air. Controls depending on size of crowd. Different levels of sound. This is hard to demonstrate but they are working with sound people to demonstrate this.

In response to height of speakers at press box – they are not at press box level, they are lower and there is added insulated material on back of (something, I didn’t get what this was) to absorb sound.

For example: there was a soccer game tonight, three attendees could hear it. AD was across from it, could hear it but really only when there was a score. And this is their old 2-speaker sound system.

Comments on the volume – could hear it from Woodrow St, and regardless of night or day, people are worried about hearing speakers instead of nature. Can hear things like flag football where there are no crowds and no speakers.

Q: Friends of Lake Wingra – wanting to save the view so concerned about lighting and sound. Given expense, are you 100% committed to making that investment if they move forward.

A: No choice but to commit. Hope to show at their site what lights will looks, hope to have sound people give a demo. They are not going to go back on that.

Q: Limited seasons, correspond with limited seasons where windows can be open, decks can be used. (COMMENT)

Q: In addition to dB (70 per city ord), there is also language to nuisance disturbances. What would intent be when complaints come in to city and school. How will you manage that? 

And thoughts on music?

A: Will have to talk with neighborhood, acknowledge that there will be noise when goals are scored, etc. Can’t eliminate all sound. But if repeated situations where neighbors object, what action will you take. Can adjust speakers, not crowd size. They have only had soccer at their fields so he only knows what that sounds like. Will set up parameters to meet neighbors. There is music before games at Middleton and other fields. Can’t say there will be no music but will try control through system.

Q: Have you chosen the sound design layout / location of speakers.

A: There are three options, have not yet decided which will be best

Q: Lights out times, what happens if game goes into OT, what to expect? Will you call the game if it’s not done at 9:45? Does this include clean up time? Sound – marching bands?

A: 9:45 lights out has not been exceeded in the past, was part of the decision to choose this time. Would have to ask for provision if there is a game that is not done at 9:45. What about stand cleanup.

Cleanup – Field Lights can go off, lights in back by road for those leaving. These lights will suffice for cleanup. Most games done at 9:15. Start at 7, done at 9:30. Only one multiple OT in his 35 years (AD)

No band, not enough kids, no plans to add, it’s expensive. Visitors don’t bring their bands.

Q: Sound design – better control but assuming to encourage more attendance. People in bleachers stomping on bleachers, can get loud. Not just PA system noise. Not able to control this. How do you address this?  Important to have a real live simulation.

A: There are student monitors, principal and ass’t principal go to games. Will have to be addressed as an administrative team. Materials such as cement, do not create as much noise as aluminum, but is more expensive. If can’t afford concrete then will need to use aluminum. Goal is to use the concrete including the seats. Current bleachers are aluminum. If they build in formed seats, it is less likely that students will stand on them.

They have been told by experts that it can be demonstrated (within current bleachers of 400) that they can mock something up to mimic the deadening.

Could be that we ask Edgewood host a football game in the fall to see how that noise may pan out.

Q: Is there a school in the area that is comparable to what is proposed? Is there a school that has used the lighting technology?

A: Oregon HS is closest, most similar to what they are looking at. But they don’t have the light tech or sound tech that is proposed to what is being done here. (Others are designed to project sound out.) Bleachers and foot rests are both aluminum. No other schools have used this lighting tech.

Q: What is the benefit for the neighbors and neighborhood? The crowds for that many nights per year, concern for Wingra Park, Lake Wingra, such a quiet neighborhood. Sound will travel in wind, over open spaces. Change to the neighborhood without benefit to the neighbors.

More to this question – why wasn’t’ this in the master plan approved two years ago if it is something that’s been on your radar for so long.

A: Master plan was approved a few years ago, were not aware of technology / was price prohibitive and couldn't show it off since nobody had it other than large college fields. And knew the other options would not have been considered by the neighborhood. He was not there at the beginning of the master plan, only at the end.

Coach: Answer to why now? :Have been looking at this for 5 years, but then got $1.4M given to them that they didn’t have five years ago to make the better improvements.

Q: Piggy back on the shielding surrounding neighborhoods from the noise. But it seems like the way the noise is angled, it’s going toward the buildings, but past that are Lake Wingra, Park, and Arb. What has been considered in keeping Lake Wingra a peaceful place? And weekends / Sunday afternoons groups using the place – do you foresee this during the summer? (Using sound system during these)

A: He couldn’t hear anything from Terry Place during game tonight. Other locations are farther away. Purpose of stadium, can construct barriers on back side of stadium to deaden sound so that it doesn’t escape. No using sound system during summer events.

Q: In flyer distributed for January meeting, any and all issues will be addressed ASAP. Assurances that issues are resolved, and what constitutes resolution? Who is the arbiter? And how binding are these?

A: Liaison committee works on these issues. Or city would get involved if not resolved. Conditions of use, max # games, etc. can be written into amendment to master plan that can be enforced by the city.

Q: Appreciate state of art tech, etc. but is still doubtful since there are no other locations where this is used. Would be helpful for this audience to see the successes of the technologies and where this fits into this discussion.

A: He is pushing manufacturers of these techs for a site to visit (at least to the liaison committee).

Q: How can this benefit the neighborhood, and can you articulate how the neighborhood?

A: Benefits from having Edgewood in it. Institution that cares for property, dogs walked, people use the front lawn, use track, etc. They feel like a neighbor and that neighbors work together. It is not surprising that they are asking for something like this since they are a school. There have always been events at this school. He thinks they have addressed complaints as they come in. Kids are respectful to neighbors, have gone above and beyond to address neighborhood concerns. Willing to have these conversations. He doesn’t think 32 nights per year is a lot.

Q: Parking, traffic concerns. At the last meeting, folks asked for traffic analysis. Monroe St is already crowded and is not getting any wider. Speak to this issue and if you have started any traffic analysis / patterns as a result of these number of games.

A: Bring traffic in at between 3-5 pm, at already a busy time. Night games would give ability to have additional cars in when there is less traffic. He doesn’t anticipate traffic will be a noticeable event to traffic on Monroe St. Studies in the master plan for the parking. City didn’t feel another traffic study needs to be done as it’s all considered in the original master plan. Most of the 28 of 35 events will not affect the traffic plan on Monroe St. Maybe 50 cars for a soccer game. Would likely notice longer line of traffic for a football game, but answers are already in the studies already done.

Q: The way you see light and sound is different than what the neighborhood is seeing about sound and noise. It’s not just about the speaker noise, it’s also crowd noise. What the neighbors considers an unacceptable amount of light is different than yours, yours doesn’t seem to consider the neighborhood.

TYLER

Q: (to Mike) You’ve asked for our feedback, what questions do you have from us / other feedback to consider in this current concept?

A: Any additional concerns outside the five original ones voiced.

Q - Real estate values – Will they drop significantly? If you drive by a stadium you form an opinion as an unfavorable neighborhood.

A - Answer studies can support both sides of this concern. In some places it added values, in some it didn’t’ change value, etc. Can continue to get a resource that can give credible.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS ON LIGHT AND SOUND

Q: Will lights and sound be used in summer?

A: First game Aug 19th. But no other light or sound use in summer. There have been events such as Boys and girls club or Girls on the Run.

There is an agreement in the master plan that the sound can be used. There is a policy to follow if there’s an event in the neighborhood.

EDGEWOOD Question to neighborhood

Q: What is something tangible that Edgewood could do for the neighborhood?

A: Don’t put the neighborhood on the defensive each year.

This was proposed 20 years ago, you knew this, you asked to rebuild stadium. It was turned down for the use then, not the technology. So, please take no for an answer.

A: Field is open to use, but there is a chain that locks out the neighborhood. It was locked in Dec, Jan, and Feb. Is now open. Open at 6 AM, close at dusk. Must close due to concerns of vandalism. Open at 8 on weekends.

Q: Is there a cap on capacity? Is there any size event that you would turn away?

A: There is no mention; they chose these numbers based on historical figures. Unlikely to have a game where crowds will have 1200 each time.

Q: Are there plans for the school to grow?

A: Would like to get back over 600. Max enrollment 700, at 550 now.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

Best place to send feedback to Alder Eskrich, or directly to Michael. There is a link on website to get presentation or make comments.

Also, DMNA is reviewing is current information. As it moves to formal process with the city, there will be additional listening and commenting sessions that will be overseen and overheard then.

TOM (LIAISON COMMITTEE)

Good timeline / steps that would follow provided by HS. Had someone from city zoning regarding revision of master plan of steps in process, mandated meetings, etc. Formal meetings, listening sessions, etc.

FINAL STATEMENTS

One aspect not addressed is that there is a lack of trust between neighborhood and the HS. One component moving forward that must be addressed is this lack of trust so that there’s a way to see that if things go wrong, there is recourse on a neighborhood basis other than firing up the Common Council. People can’t make a judgment if they don’t have trust.

Personal statement – She lives on Woodrow by goal post and can look up from her living room at goal which means will be looking up at lights. While PA system may be good, she will hear the crowd. What you are proposing is going to affect her personally in the form of noise, light pollution, property values, and overall quality of life. On either side there are several small children that go to bed before 9. Parents are not happy about the noise. Street will be heavily impacted by this.

Speaker chose to live on Woodrow street for its location, quiet, etc. 300 lux is expected on a night when it is usually 1 lux. Overall concerned with ambient light; not sure that light pollution can be controlled. Mr. Elliot is aware of intense opposition to this; there may not have been agreement if they had mentioned earlier that they wanted to build a stadium around the field.