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Brighton District Residents Want a Second Recommendation for Scranton Athletic Facilities

Residents urged school board members to postpone the vote on the bond design and development package in order to consider moving the football stadium back in front of the middle school.

Dozens of residents armed with participation charts and traffic photos attended the Brighton Area Schools Board of Education meeting Monday night to protest the proposed Scranton Middle School athletic field as part of the $88.4 million bond passed by voters in May.

Many residents are not happy that the football field will now be located behind the school, according to design plans from the bond architect, SHW Group. The location was changed because placing it in front of the school would have overlapped into a secondary septic system and an additional easement required on the Scranton Roundabout, Brighton Superintendent Greg Gray said in an informational meeting Oct. 10.

Many residents urged school board members to postpone the vote on SHW's Design and Development package, which is scheduled for the next meeting on Nov. 12. They would like to see an alternative recommendation, or have the field go back to its original location in front of the school.

Green Oak resident Jack Barry said the athletic facility upgrades at Scranton will have a negative impact, with less games being held because the football field will be built over two existing soccer fields.

However, Gray said that there is no impact in relation to the number of games or contests the district can hold at its facilities. With the addition of an artificial turf field, weather no longer has an impact and lights will extend play times.

Green Oak resident Brenda Goebbel said she is concerned with the operational and maintenance costs of additions to the field, like restrooms and concessions.

"This general fund pie is being cut into smaller and smaller slices anytime you put in a new concession stand, a bathroom - anything that requires operation and maintenance, that's coming from that general fund," she said. "I suggest we eliminate these amenities from this bond. They weren't voted on and spend the money elsewhere."

Gray said operation and maintenance of the new fields is something the district has prepared for and can handle.

"We maintain our fields presently and grass is a higher maintenance cost than artificial turf because you don't have to mow it, you don't have to seed it and you don't have to fix it every year," he said. "I don't understand the large cost relation to maintenance for that. Obviously there will be some electric costs in relation to the lighting. If we have bathrooms, we actually have on-staff plumbers that drain the pipes prior to winter or winterizing those particular areas. We have an operating budget that can handle that."

Gray said he will ask SHW to review residents' complaints and concerns. He will also be meeting with board President Cheryl Leach to address the comments from the meeting.

To see the original bond application or the schematic designs for the first bond series, visit the Brighton Area Schools website Bond Update page.

SpeakOutBrighton October 23, 2012 at 11:56 AM
I find it interesting that you have not mentioned the parking and traffic impacts that were also discussed last night, relative to the Lee Rd side of the property. I recall the roundabout and secondary septic concerns were debunked last night as it was indicated the school system knew about those items in preparation for the bond. Maybe they just didn't do their homework on the front end?!?
Nicole Krawcke (Editor) October 23, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Thanks for your comment. There were many issues discussed during the meeting last night. Parking concerns were mentioned in the first article I did when I attended the meeting last week. I believe that it was also discussed that the district cannot do anything about the parking. That is more of an enforcement issue with the City of Brighton, Green Oak Township, police and the Livingston County Road Commission.
Nicole Krawcke (Editor) October 23, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Also - I was listing the original reasons for why the field was moved just in case readers missed the first story!
SpeakOutBrighton October 23, 2012 at 01:44 PM
I agree you mentioned the reasons, but you did not mention those issues were shown last night to either be false or known in advance of the bond planning. It appears the front end work may have been somewhat sloppy. To adress the parking issue, the school may not be able to control the parking on Lee Road, but they are responsible for the safety of people entering and exiting their facilities. I think that makes this their problem too.
Jack Barry October 23, 2012 at 03:49 PM
To accommodate the significant negative impact on the number of games...the Brighton Area Schools would have to run games non-stop (yes-I mean throughout the night) until Sunday sometime to accommodate the number of lost games on a high utilization Saturday. The loss of games on a high utilization Sunday compounded with the movement of games from a high utilization Saturday would mean the Brighton Area Schools would again have to run non-stop throughout the night, and these games could probably conclude sometime late day Monday. In order to accommodate the number of lost games on a typical weekday, the Brighton Area Schools are going to operate fields until 1:00 A.M. Not to point out the obvious here, but I don't think to many parents are going to be to happy with these potential playing time options.
Joe Smith October 23, 2012 at 05:08 PM
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Joe Smith October 23, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Come On Jack! Where are you getting your facts? I currently have a child in Brighton and have an understanding on schools and athletics. What you are talking about it is “what ifs”. You have no solid information to back up your claims. You do not know the correct number of teams, players, time slots, number of fields needed to run events. I am not sure you do for a job but I sure wouldn't decide one day that I could totally understand your job and question everyone you did. What you have done is enter a conversation when the punch line is being said and not fully understand what was said. Are you asking the schools to run everything by you? I am sure the professionals are being used and planning has been ongoing.
Ann Weaver October 23, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Ok I see that a lot of people are not happy about this. But what do you want the schools to do? If they need the fields because they don't have enough now for all the sports being played and they have all that room behind Scarton for more fields why would they not use it? And if the people that live around there don't like it then I think they should of thought about not living by a school in the first place. What would you do if they turned that school in to an elementary and they had all those little kids running around sreaming all day? So you will see lights on when it gets dark. You may even hear some cheering to. But what if they just closed the school and left it to fall down over the years? Think people it is called CHANGE!!! Don't like it go find some where else to live where you know that nothing will EVER CHANGE!!! COME ONE!!! That is not going to happen!!!
SpeakOutBrighton October 23, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Joe: field scheduling actually comes down to not so simple math (linear programming). What is simple to figure, which is what Jack was probably trying to state, is there will effectively be 4 soccer fields removed in favor of 1 multi-purpose field. Those 4 current fields are heavily utilized, so there will be an impact on some teams. However, other teams and athelets will surely benefit from the new field. We don't need to get into name calling to understand this and I'm quite sure Selcra can attest to the negative impact of losing the soccer fields. Ann: The fields are already heavily utilized and "cheering" is quite routine. However, the lighting, PA system (excessive use) and traffic problems on the north side are a concern. I believe the neighbors made it quite clear they are not against the use of Scranton's athletic fields for the development and enjoyment of the children in the community. The inclusion of lights and PA will cause a dramatic shift in the environment, in a place where we DO see shooting stars and we DO see the northern lights on occasion. Finally, I'm against everyone getting all ramped up and angry over this. The request made last night was to reconsider putting the field back where it was originally proposed, for a multitude of very valid reasons. And if not, then work with the neighbors on the amenities and rules of use. All quite reasonable requests, and without any vitriol or venom.
Joe Smith October 23, 2012 at 09:01 PM
SpeakOutBrighton: It sounds like with one less field the numbers will go down. Less people parking, less people people screaming and less people to bother you. I live next to Maltby and it is just a fact of life!!! We bought the house because our kids could walk to school and be close to school. It sounds like from all the meetings the school is trying to make it work and that was the best spot.
Blinded and Deaf Brighton Resident October 23, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Joe, I'm guessing your not objecting to the lighted softball field changes coming to Maltby then. I hope you enjoy the lights as much as I'm enjoying my High School Lights. Sincerely, Blinded and Deaf Brighton Resident
Sky Watcher October 23, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Never mind the fact that people in precincts surrounding Scranton voted AGAINST the bond. How undemocratic that Brighton citizens, who purposely choose to live with noise and streetlights, should be allowed to vote on a facility, which diminishes our quality of life and has no impact on them. We chose to live in an area without lights, sidewalks, etc. because we want a rural feel and to be closer to nature. Our suggestion is to find an area near the precincts that approved this facility or use some of the bond money to purchase property where no neighborhoods will be negatively impacted. Yes, we did chose to live near a middle school and have no complaints thus far, but who would expect a stadium complex to be built here, especially since Scranton has no football team? The voted on field been moved once (without letting the public know--it's not even in board meeting minutes) so there should be no problem legally with finding a more suitable place now.

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