St. Aug's asks to bend football stadium rules for Special Olympics
Posted April 9, 2012 3:59 p.m. EDT
Updated April 9, 2012 6:25 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — The North Carolina Committee for Special Olympics has a hurdle to jump regarding its desire to use a new, state-of-the-art track and football stadium at St. Augustine's College in Raleigh for its summer games.
The college is wrapping up construction at the stadium's North State Street site in time for the start of football season in September, but the committee wants to use the track June 1-3.
The event violates an agreement reached in October between the college and the city that allowed for construction of the $10 million, 2,500-seat stadium, but included several compromises to minimize the stadium's impact on the neighborhood.
The agreement was the culmination of more than seven years of wrangling over the stadium, which is the first in St. Aug's 144-year history.
Residents living near the stadium raised concerns over noise, lighting and parking, so the college agreed to install special speakers to help reduce noise, vegetation to hide stadium activity and additional parking on campus to accommodate stadium traffic.
The college also agreed to host only 15 events per year and not rent out the stadium to other groups.
In order for the Special Olympics to use the stadium, St. Aug's is asking Raleigh City Council to amend its special use permit.
Notices will soon go out to neighbors about those proposed amendments. A public hearing on the issue is scheduled for May 1.