MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Mt. Pleasant homeowners are rallying together to oppose a multimillion dollar regional stadium planned for the Carolina Park neighborhood.
Neighbors are circulating an online petition containing more than 180 signatures opposing the Charleston County School District project.
"We believe that construction of this project carries substantial risk of traffic, crowds, noise, and other undesirable qualities to our neighborhood," the Change.org petition states.
"Not appropriate for a residential area. We are building a home in the neighborhood and were told there would be shops in the nearby area. A 6,000
seat stadium is another story, and we probably wouldn't have purchased in that neighborhood," another homeowner states in the online petition.
According to Charleston County School District's Chief Operating Officer Jeff Borowy, the vision to utilize a regional stadium concept in Mt. Pleasant as well as a future regional stadium in North Charleston could potentially save the district more than $50 million dollars. The Carolina Park stadium site would accommodate six thousand seats, serving as a home field for Wando High School, Lucy Beckham High School as well as a future high school in Awendaw.
"It saves a significant amount of money, but provides each student athlete with an opportunity to play on a real-world class facility and maximize the number of practice fields we have," Borowy said.
Plans for the $18 million dollar stadium come as a surprise to some homeowners who bought Carolina Park property with the understanding a "town center" would be built where the stadium is now intended.
"That's just too big for any community in Mt. Pleasant to sustain and expect to deal with traffic, congestion and pollution," Khyrstin, who recently closed
on her Carolina Park home, said. "It's just not right for our community."
"The noise and the lights…with six thousand people all convening the stadium at the same time and leaving," she said, adding some residents have already experienced trouble with Wando students parking in the neighborhood.
"I think one of the biggest concerns is this is going to be such a large facility and it's not going to be tucked away into a corner," the petition's organizer told Live 5. "It's going to be d ropped right at our front door at the main traffic hub leading right into our neighborhood."
Some residents proposed separate facilities on school campuses in lieu of a shared stadium.
"We lose a facility on that campus by having a game field there," Borowy said, adding he's confident residents' concerns can be addressed.
"There are a lot of unknowns in the eyes of the residents and it's our job to make sure they understand what we're proposing, and it's taken some time to make sure we can answer all their questions and have solutions for potential problems," Borowy said. "I'm very confident we'll be able to provide those answers to their satisfaction."
According to Borowy, the district plans to close on the property in a couple of months with the expectation to begin construction this summer and have the stadium ready in Aug. 2018.
Carolina Park neighbors will hold a community meeting Thursday, March 23 at 6pm at the Wando High School Performing Arts Center.
Copyright 2017 WCSC. All rights reserved.