South Bexley Neighborhood Association members soon will select four residents to represent the group in meetings with Capital University and the city of Bexley that are tentatively scheduled to begin early next year.
The meetings will center on Capital's proposal to add lighting and a new sound system to its Bernlohr Stadium.
Capital introduced the proposal during the city's April 22 Planning Commission meeting, then withdrew it in June after residents expressed concerns about noise, congestion and safety. The university submitted a revised proposal in October and later asked that it be tabled to gather more community input at two public meetings held in November.
During a Nov. 18 meeting at Bexley High School, Capital representatives and area residents agreed to form a group that will work with the city to revise the stadium proposal.
About 30 residents in attendance at the neighborhood association's Dec. 2 meeting at the Bexley Public Library agreed to vote at their next meeting Jan. 6 to select four representatives from a list of nominees.
Grandon Avenue resident Eloise Buker, who is one of the nominees, said the association should raise awareness about residents' concerns with Capital's stadium proposal.
"We should begin to educate ourselves and our other friends in Bexley, South Bexley, central and north Bexley about the problem, because I do not think they know how serious these (stadium) lights would be," Buker said. "I think we have to make a move on that education project so that we get more people on board, more people seeing the problem."
Euclaire Avenue resident Ethan Schwartz said he's in favor of appointing four of his neighbors to represent the community in meetings with Capital, but believes the stadium proposal is just one issue that should be addressed.
"I'd like to think past just this issue," Schwartz said. "We need to have someone to represent us, in general, in dealing with the city, in dealing with Capital."
Mayor Ben Kessler the city is conducting traffic, lighting, sound and use-intensity studies that will provide estimates of how Capital's stadium proposal would impact surrounding neighborhoods.
Kessler added he sees the city's role as facilitating the upcoming meetings between Capital and South Bexley residents and providing a forum for discussion.
"My hope would be that we have great representation from the community association, representation from city officials," Kessler said. "I think what we come out with, either way, is a much better plan."
Capital spokeswoman Nichole Johnson said university representatives are prepared to meet with association representatives and try to find solutions that are agreeable to all parties involved.
"We are anxious to get to work. We want to begin the work with this group of representatives," Johnson said. "The bottom line is we're ready to meet ... but we do believe the process should move forward in a deliberate fashion. We're ready to go."
The association will continue to accept nominations until its next meeting, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 13 at the Bexley Public Library. Nominations can be emailed to Ian Nickey, association coordinator, at email@example.com.
For more information about Capital's stadium proposal, visit the city of Bexley's website, bexley.org/stadium.