Neighbors weigh in on Anchorage school stadium

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Anchorage School District is still eyeing construction of a state-funded football stadium at a local high school, months after its original proposal was rejected by the local planning and zoning commission.

Almost 250 people filled the commons area at South High School on Tuesday to hear the latest on the proposed project, Alaska Dispatch News reported ( ).

The proposal has pitted the district against residents of the nearby subdivision who are concerned that a stadium would bring more traffic, bright lights and noise to the neighborhood. Others support the project.

The planning and zoning commission turned down the district's proposal in February. It called for adding bleacher seating, a sound system and lighting to the existing practice field. The district is planning to resubmit an amended plan to the commission.

Alex Slivka, head of the Turnagain View Estates Homeowners Association, said after Tuesday's meeting that he is still concerned about noise. He said the association has spent more than $70,000 to fight the proposal.

"People love sports, they love schools, they love their kids, but there's nothing that says they have to play (the sports) here," he said.

Kathi Gallagher, who lives nearby, has a different view.

"I'm pro-stadium," she said. "I think it's a community meeting center."

Dwayne Adams with the landscape architecture firm Earthscape listed possible new features of the project, including an 8-foot fence to provide an additional buffer. The district also proposes coating the bleachers with a noise-dimming material and limiting games to 10 a year.

Adams said the proposal is expected to be wrapped up by Monday, and a public hearing could be held as early as December.

Currently, school varsity and junior varsity teams play home games at a football stadium elsewhere in the city.

It's unclear if a $2.2 million grant granted by state lawmakers in 2012 would be enough with the proposed amendments.

"That's to be determined," said South High School principal Kersten Johnson.


Information from: Alaska Dispatch News,

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