For Immediate Release
Contact: Catherine Jagoe
No New Stadium Grassroots Neighborhood Group Responds to Alder Allen Arntsen’s Statement on Edgewood High School’s Proposed Amendment to Master Plan
Edgewood Neighbors Acknowledge Alder’s Statement; Remain Opposed
MADISON, WI. (December 13, 2018) -- In response to Interim District 13 Alder Allen Arntsen’s short-term, five-game solution to Edgewood High School’s proposal to amend its Master Plan and build a 1,000-person stadium with lights and sound, neighbors warn that building a new stadium still poses a serious long-term threat to livability and urban greenspace. Grassroots neighborhood group No New Stadium remains opposed to Edgewood High School’s proposed amendment to its Master Plan to allow for the construction of the new stadium.
“The Edgewood campus had 144 bird species either resident or migrating through in 2018,” says neighbor Catherine Jagoe, an avid walker, cyclist, and birdwatcher. “Lake Wingra is the quietest of Madison’s lakes, thanks to staunch neighborhood efforts to make it a refuge for paddlers, cyclists, anglers, runners, birdwatchers and local children. A stadium with lights, sound, increased noise and increased traffic in the neighborhood--since the majority of Edgewood families come from outside the neighborhood and even the city--will have a negative impact on precious urban greenspace, which we have to protect.”
In publicity materials and news interviews, Edgewood High School has claimed that the impact of its proposed Monroe Street stadium would be minimal, since there is a technological fix to the sound and light problems, but nearby neighbors already experience high levels of noise from the existing new field inside their homes, with the windows closed. Since there are no city ordinances that relate to crowd noise, any complaints of violations are unenforceable.
“Alder Arntsen’s suggestion to allow Edgewood High School to build a new stadium but limit the use of lights to a total of five events per year for the next six years only deals with future nighttime events,” explains neighbor Tracy Lewis. “It does not address the current unacceptable levels of noise from daytime use of the track and field, which would worsen considerably with sound amplification.”
The neighborhood has long been overwhelmingly opposed to a stadium on Edgewood’s Monroe Street campus. The existing state-of-the-art athletic field, which was built in 2015, is the result of a 2014 compromise between the Dudgeon-Monroe Neighborhood Association and Edgewood High School. Nevertheless, during the past two years, Edgewood High School has allowed games and competitive events to be held on the field, in violation of its current master plan.
“Edgewood High School has eroded neighborhood trust by breaking its clear commitment to use its field for practice and physical education classes only,” says neighbor Dianne Jenkins. “Once a stadium is built, it can’t be unbuilt, and neighbors justifiably fear incremental expansion of use and growing sound, light and traffic impact, to the detriment of homeowners and the Lake Wingra environment.”
The Dudgeon-Monroe Neighborhood Association strongly opposes the proposed new stadium. “Since 2001, DMNA has supported 16 development projects for the high school, college and primary school,” DMNA wrote in its statement of opposition. “Unlike usual city development that creates infill, prevents urban sprawl and increases the city tax base, this amendment benefits a private institution with nearly half its student population outside the Madison city limits, without adding significant benefit to the city as a whole.”
“I believe Edgewood High School has a financial incentive to use the stadium as a revenue generator at the expense of its neighbors,” says neighbor Pat Alea. “If this is approved for a nominal number of games, expect to see new proposals from Edgewood High School to expand on usage for its private income. That doesn’t do much for neighborhood families, the majority of whom send their kids to public schools, like West High, which doesn’t have a stadium.”
About No New Stadium
No New Stadium is a grassroots organization of neighbors who oppose Edgewood High School’s proposal to build a stadium with lights and amplified sound on its Monroe Street campus. The group was formed in October 2018. The Monroe-Vilas area provides a model balance of commercial vibrancy, greenspace and peace. This balance is an asset we wish to defend and preserve. Learn more at nonewstadium.org.