Bexley News

Capital stadium upgrades

University sets two sessions for comment

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Residents will have more time to weigh in on Capital University's revised proposal to add lighting and a new sound system to Bernlohr stadium.

Capital will host public meetings at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, at the university's Harry C. Moores Student Union on campus, located near Pleasant Ridge Avenue, and at 6 p.m. Nov. 18 at Bexley High School, 326 S. Cassingham Road.

"Recently, at the request of city leaders, Capital agreed to table its revised proposal to allow more time for public dialogue," Capital spokeswoman Nichole Johnson said in a letter sent to ThisWeek Bexley News.

The Bexley Planning Commission had been scheduled to address Capital's revised proposal Oct. 28, but the proposal was withdrawn from the commission's agenda to allow for more public comment.

Capital initially submitted its stadium proposal at the Planning Commission's April 22 meeting. In June, Capital University officials announced the university was indefinitely tabling the stadium proposal.

The proposal called for adding four 110-foot-tall light poles and six new speakers to the 2,500-seat stadium. The proposal met with opposition from area residents who said the stadium upgrade would bring excessive noise, congestion and safety issues to the neighborhoods surrounding the university.

Capital University Athletic Director Steve Bruning said university officials took resident feedback into account when drafting the revised proposal.

According to the facilities management plan posted on the city's website, Capital has proposed the following:

* University-hosted evening games Sunday through Friday will typically begin at 7 p.m. Most contests will conclude by 9 p.m. Unless an unforeseen event (e.g., dangerous weather conditions, serious injury to an athlete, extended overtime, etc.) delays a contest, it is expected that the lights will be turned off the evening of a game no later than 9:30 p.m. If an unforeseen event does delay a contest, Capital University will be permitted to keep the lights on until 10 p.m.

* Pregame music will begin one hour prior to the start of all contests Sunday through Friday. The music will be set at about 60 decibels when measured by Capital University in the alleyway east of the field. During the games, the volume may be increased if the announcer cannot be heard, but will not exceed 65 decibels when measured by Capital University in the alleyway east of the field. Music may be played after a significant play (touchdown, goal, etc.,) and during halftime. As per NCAA championship guidelines, music must be "radio play" music and should be appropriate for public consumption (music with actual or inferred profanity, racist, sexist, or otherwise degrading messages is not allowed).

* University-hosted evening games on Saturday will typically begin at 7 p.m. Most contests will conclude by 10 p.m. Unless an unforeseen event delays a contest for an extended period of time, it is expected that the lights will be turned off on Saturday no later than 10:30 p.m. If an unforeseen event does delay a contest, Capital University will be permitted to keep the lights on until 11 p.m.

* Pregame music will begin one hour prior to the start of all contests on Saturday. The music will be set at about 60 decibels when measured by Capital University in the alleyway east of the field. During the games, the volume may be increased if the announcer cannot be heard, but will not exceed 65 decibels when measured by Capital University in the alleyway east of the field. Music may be played after a significant play (touchdown, goal, etc.,) and during halftime.

* When the field is used for an evening practice or intramurals, field usage will end at 9 p.m. and the lights will be turned off no later than 9:15 p.m. When the field is used in the evening for practice or intramurals, unforeseen events such as dangerous weather conditions will not change the time that lights are turned off. The sound system will not be used during practices/intramurals.

* In addition to the time limitations set forth previously, the university's athletic department will be permitted to use lights from Aug. 1 through Nov. 30, and from Jan. 15 through April 30. Lights generally will not be used during December, May, June, or July unless for a community-sponsored event, to accommodate an OAC- or NCAA-sanctioned playoff event.

Capital also has developed a proposed memorandum of understanding that outlines how the game-management policy would be enforced.

That document states the university would be limited to three evenings per week during regular-season athletic contests when events can include light usage. It also states Capital would be limited to 30 regular-season evening athletic contests per year at which lights could be used.

It states that in order to accommodate OAC and NCAA scheduling expectations, Capital would not be limited in the number of OAC and NCAA postseason games it could host.

Residents will have the opportunity to weigh in on details of the plan at the upcoming meetings in November. For more information about the revised proposal, call the Bexley Building Department at 614-559-4240 or visit bexley.org/stadium.

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