Madison College to expand sports complex, neighbors disapprove - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Madison College looks to expand sports complex, some neighbors disapprove


MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison College wants to expand its sports facilities at the east side campus, but are getting some heat from nearby residents.

The plans would turn the current sports complex into a facility that both Madison College and local high school athletes could use, revamping existing fields.

Vice President of Student Development Keith Cornille says the college was approached by a community foundation he declined to identify by name. That group is looking to expand softball options in Madison and the college is reviewing the feasibility of a plan on their turf.

The proposal would build four new competition softball fields where the existing baseball diamond is now. For that reason, a new baseball field and a new soccer field would be built, along with some extra parking.

Cornille says the $18 million project would be mostly funded by the community foundation, but there would be a few extra costs for the college. This early in the plans he said he didn't have solid numbers.

"There probably would be some funding that would be required of us, some infrastructure pieces," says Cornille. "We do have parking lots and things of that nature that would also need to be upgraded."
The plan has sparked some concern among neighbors. Organizers held a community meeting last week to introduce the development proposal, and many had questions and complaints about the sports complex getting closer to their neighborhood.
Some, like Robin Chase-Yngsdahl, have started circulating petitions. She lives just on the other side of the woods from the current baseball diamond. The construction of the new diamonds would require cutting into part of the woods, which Chase-Yngsdahl dislikes.
"They don't need four diamonds, MATC doesn't play every day," she says, listing her concerns others also share. "The noise, the cars; this is closer to the park than parking at MATC far lots, and trash pickup."
Chase-Yngsdahl says she's worried wildlife will also be pushed out if some of the trees are removed.
Madison College officials plan to maintain 400 feet of woods between the diamonds and the homes on the other side. Cornille says they'll have plenty of parking for the facility's needs, so extra traffic in the neighborhood likely won't be a problem.
Cornille stressed no decisions have been made in this process, and says the college plans to continue dialogue with neighbors and the public to find out just what's right for the area.
27 News was unable to reach the community foundation believed to be involved in the project.
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