Stadium a step closer to reality
City council's approval met with neighboring opposition
By Thomas Tingle
Record Managing Editor
The Madison City Council has given it's OK to rezone 51 acres of property behind the Spencer Square shopping center for the Madison City Schools proposed stadium, central office and teacher resource center.
The approval though was met with some opposition by neighbors of the Home Place subdivision who say they haven't had the opportunity to be fully heard and that they would like to have more of a voice in the proposal and they'd like the school board to listen to them.
Home Place residents Ken Quartney and Ted Drude told Mayor Wells that they've heard a lot of empty promises by the school board and Home Place neighbors have had to take all of the initiative to get the word out as to what is being proposed.
"We are looking for assurances from the school board and we want the city council to make sure the school board is held accountable for its actions," Drude said. "I don't want to see my neighborhood used as a cut-through to the stadium and I have concerns with the nursing home that is located near the proposed site and the increase of traffic, noise, and lights. It will have an affect on this neighborhood and I'm afraid it will lower the value of our homes."
Last month, Superintendent Dr. Henry Clark said a 5,000 seat, multi-purpose stadium and a new central office and teacher resource center are planned for the property. Clark said the cost of the property is about $1 million, but cost figures for the construction of the new facilities have not been calculated.
Mayor Wells said while she understands the concerns expressed by the Home Place residents, in her years as a real estate agent before being elected mayor, property owners themselves influence the value of his home- not a nearby stadium.
"I've been in the real estate business for several years. As many times as I've driven people around to show them a home, a nearby stadium or recreational facility has never come into play as having a negative impact regarding to the value of the homes near these sites," Wells said. "It's all in the numbers and the residents themselves influence the value of their homes. A stadium is not the driving force behind the value of a home."
Clark said the school system understands the concerns by the Home Place residents and he's open to hear any comments regarding the issue. He said the school system has held an open meeting with neighboring residents and while there has been concerns expressed, favorable comments have been shared as well.
"Once the plans and drawings have been done, I plan to meet with the neighboring residents again," Clark said. "This property is in an ideal location for the stadium and we plan to build it on the eastside of the property near Celtic Drive," Clark said.