A neighborhood battle is brewing in Hamden over a plan by Quinnipiac University to build two athletic fields on campus.
The issue is because friends of Sleeping Giant State Park are worried how the stadiums would impact the environment, specifically the park right across the street from campus.
The proposal is going back before the Inland Wetlands Commission.
Supporters of the park said they feel this would impact the integrity of the state park, citing concerns over noise, pollution and traffic.
"They're looking for peace, quiet, nature, looking at birds, be able to enjoy the solitude, getting away from it all,” said Julie Hulten, of the Sleeping Giant Park Association. “We are concerned about the invasiveness of the project, not that it will invade park land, but in a less tangible way...sound, litter, traffic, pollution.”
But the school said it is already hosting games on those fields and said they need to do the renovations to stay competitive in the world of college athletics and comply with Title IX Gender Equality requirements.
"You need state of the art facilities, these facilities are pretty old,” said Sal Filardi, vice president for Facilities and Capital Planning.
The fields will be used by both soccer teams, the lacrosse programs, and the women’s field hockey team.
The proposal calls for artificial turf, along with adding 1,500 seats for one field, 500 for the other, along with locker rooms, bathrooms and press areas.
"The idea of a roaring stadium is a little scary, the proper sound system keeps the noise on the fans so they can hear who's being announced, who scored, versus today we just put speakers up and blasts it to wherever it goes, this should improve,” Filardi said.
But for the park, which sees more than 100,000 visitors per year, supporters worry that it would be changed forever.
"Not inches and feet, not you're property and my property, but in a sense that the noise and others will drift on over and impact the quality of the experience here,” Hulten said.
Hamden’s Planning and Zoning Commission is expected to vote on the project next month.
If it is approved, Quinnipiac would like to start the construction this summer.
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