Capital University officials, city officials and residents are prepared to move forward with meetings to discuss Capital's plans to add lights and a new sound system to its Bernlohr Stadium.
During a Jan. 13 meeting at the Bexley Public Library, the South Bexley Neighborhood Association selected four residents to represent the association in the meetings with Capital and the city of Bexley.
Choosing from a list of five candidates, association members elected Eloise Buker, David Greene, Larry Matteson and Megan Northrup to represent them. Forty-five people attended the Jan. 13 meeting and 40 votes were cast, according to association coordinator Ian Nickey.
"I would like to thank everyone who came to the meeting for their continued work to support Bexley," Nickey said in a post on the association's website, Supportbexley.com.
Nichole Johnson, director of media relations and communications at Capital, said the first meeting between city officials, the neighborhood association representatives and Capital University was Friday, Jan. 14, and the group discussed meeting weekly moving forward.
The group is expected to discuss workable solutions for Capital's stadium plan. Residents have expressed concerns that the plan to add lights allowing evening games and practices at the stadium would cause excessive noise and light, traffic congestion and safety issues.
Capital introduced the stadium plan at the city's April 22, 2013, planning commission meeting but withdrew the proposal in June after residents expressed opposition.
The university submitted a revised proposal in October and later tabled it as well to gather more community input. Two public meetings were held last fall.
During a Nov. 18 meeting at Bexley High School, Capital University representatives, city officials and residents vowed to work together to find a compromise that everyone could live with.
Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler said he plans to participate in the work group and also to appoint Police Chief Larry Rinehart or a police sergeant, depending on availability, as well as having Jason Sudy of Side Street Planning, the city's planning consultant, participate.
"The thought is, the more that we get people in the room who can give some authoritative guidance to that process, the better and more productive a process we're going to have," Kessler said.
He added that Sudy has completed initial drafts of traffic and use-intensity studies related to the stadium plan.
The city will make public finished versions of the studies when final details are available, Kessler added. The city has also hired KLH Engineers to conduct sound and light studies, with results expected early this year.
Kessler said the city is waiting on information from Capital on the average number of practices and evenings games the university currently hosts, compared to the possible increased number if the stadium plan moves forward.