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Help St. Ambrose build the right stadium

2014-02-13T05:00:00Z 2014-02-13T05:08:29Z Help St. Ambrose build the right stadium The Quad-City Times
February 13, 2014 5:00 am

The thought of an athletic complex that includes a 2,500-seat stadium filling the quiet St. Vincent’s Center property in the 700 block of West Central Park Avenue in Davenport has some neighbors riled.

St. Ambrose University's plan elevated tension at several neighborhood meetings where residents have reviewed alternatives. Some fear being overrun by sports fans, a natural concern for people unaccustomed to game day.

On home football nights at Bettendorf High School, as many as 4,000 fans pack TouVelle Field to cheer on the Bulldogs. Playoff games can draw up to 5,000, bringing traffic, noise and additional lighting to residential neighborhoods along 18th Street and Maplecrest Avenue.

Kevin Skillett, activities director at Bettendorf High School, said the school’s relationship with the neighbors is good. When installing a new public address system last year, the school kept in mind its neighbors and the direction of the speakers. The school hires police officers at its expense for crowd and traffic flowing from two parking lots for its five or six home games per year.

“No doubt they can hear when Bettendorf scores a touchdown,” he said.

St. Ambrose officials already scaled back the project in response to neighbors’ concerns and pledge to work with the community throughout construction and once an athletic complex opens. St. Ambrose is located in a designed Planned Institutional District, which requires specific steps that must be followed before plans are approved.

Still, some residents are saying build it elsewhere.

That seems to assume the Ambrose lot will remain vacant forever. We doubt that will happen. Some Moline residents believed the long-vacant lots west of 41st Street and south of 25th Avenue might remain open, until Genesis Health System built a $14 million campus last year.

The St. Ambrose site could just as easily be used for a higher-density residential development, or even apartments under the correct zoning.

We expect the city to hold the university to the Planned Institutional District process and give residents a voice in the university’s expansion. Three public meetings are scheduled over the next several weeks. The next public decision will be before the Davenport Plan and Zoning Commission, tentatively planned for April.

We’re eager to see the city, neighborhood residents and St. Ambrose move ahead on the vetting process. St. Ambrose has been a good neighbor for decades, and most recently during extensive renovation and expansion. The school responded admirably to curb rowdy, rude students in off-campus housing. It reached out with community service , including student leaf crews in the fall. Whatever stadium option emerges, it’s safe to conclude St. Ambrose will continue its long tradition of respect for and collaboration with neighbors.

Two things seem certain: The university will continue to grow. And the property assembled for this project won’t remain vacant forever.

We urge neighbors to work with the university to help this stadium project fit in the neighborhood, just like so many larger Q-C high school football stadiums have managed for years.

Copyright 2015 The Quad-City Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(20) Comments

  1. jmiller7400
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    jmiller7400 - February 26, 2014 11:02 am
    I see Bettendorf has been used as an example for the noise. I've lived very close to Bettendorf HIgh, can see it from my house, have gone to bed listening to activities at Bettendorf Hight, and guess what: there is no problem! In fact its a good sound of something going on in the community, and with a school nearby, one should expect this sound. It is an intermittent sound, we don't have constant sound, but I can attend the football game from my yard and know who scores and who is winning. Really, I haven't had any problem with it. Others may feel differently and why I don't know. I hope St. Ambrose succeeds with the addition. It will be good for Davenport and the Quad Cities.
  2. drjw
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    drjw - February 16, 2014 12:42 pm
    It saddens me no one talks about the animal beings who will lose their home if the bulldozers come in and destroy the habitat these animals enjoy! I've watched all kinds of birds fly around from tree to shrub!. It's a very peaceful place and my dogs luv taking walks here! These green spaces are where healthy neighborhoods find connection with each other and nature! The more Davenport promotes and nurtures sustainable healthy neighborhoods, the more attractive it becomes. Take a lesson from other progressive colleges around the nation where students are choosing to create more sustainability by promoting green space, not taking green space away! C'mon SAU administration, your campus is only as healthy and vibrant as the neighborhoods that surround you. Are you willing to support the bigger picture and in so doing create a more caring and sustainable community?
  3. Report Abuse
    - February 15, 2014 8:12 pm
    Little boy, do you have a link to that? If you'd read the articles, you'd discover they aren't even done with all the neighborhood meetings.

    If you had an education at all, you'd understand they need concurrence with the majority of the neighborhood to proceed.

    I don't even live in Davenport, I stated it several times. I have friends on Marquette. However, I've been involved in this situation before, and am well aware of the laws.

    You seem oblivious to zoning laws, and think you just bully your way through. This isn't a democracy, tool. We are a Representative Republic. In simple terms, so that you will understand, it means the the laws of Davenport rotects the rights of all citizens, not just the majority, and is founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, with elections providing the opportunity for change.

    If the council has passed this (which is required by law), please provide the link to the article. Hundreds of people are following this.
  4. Vagabond
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    Vagabond - February 15, 2014 1:58 pm
    Well Chicken Little, all the facts are out there and it appears that you can ring your little bell but nobody is listening. Accept the facts that ground will be broken and the stadium will be built and all the St Ambrose supporters will dancing an Irish jig on your front lawn.
  5. Report Abuse
    - February 15, 2014 10:08 am
    thanks!
  6. Report Abuse
    - February 15, 2014 10:07 am
    We aren't alarmists, we've seen epic failures.

    Can you tell me how the city is going to make any additional revenue from this? They are not.

    SAU needs the buy in from the neighborhoods surrounding it, or they WILL NOT BE ABLE TO BUILD IT, let alone build it big.

    Perhaps you could read the US constitution, and the Laws and Ordinances of the CIty of Davenport.

    So far, SAU is upholding their end, but still haven't stated what's going to happen if the construction causes major storm water runoff issues, including sewer collapse, didn't address the houses across on Marquette, and haven't addressed the trash and parking problems in the neighborhood to the south. In their defense, they have stated they will fence off the entire area to the east, and take care of sewer problems around Lombard.

    You fail to grasp that SAU doesn't pay taxes. If the sewer system collapses, the citizens of davenport pays, not the college. If you own a house across the street from the school, and your sewer line collapses, we are responsbile.

    Build it big? Sorry, you lost that battle last year.
  7. Vagabond
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    Vagabond - February 14, 2014 4:41 pm
    To tell you the truth, I'm a a bit tired of these Chicken Little Alarmist whining about future growth and great potential in revenue increase to our city coffers just because he thinks his his sugar plumb dream of a life style will end. I say build it and build it BIG, darn the few and full steam ahead!
  8. Merlotsucks5
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    Merlotsucks5 - February 14, 2014 12:46 pm
    If study's say the sewer can handle it and that traffic will be a minor issue only 5 to 6 times a year and other logistical and structural issues seem good then do it.

    The economic impact will do a lot for the community. More students more spending. Long term growth looks to be the goal.

    Instead of flat out saying no, residents should be asking questions and providing input (speaker system, parking issues, traffic, sewer, etc etc)

    If they bring up a potential problem before it occurs and make the impact as little as possible then great. By the way many people enjoy living next to the stadiums in the Qc.
  9. 4Equality
    Report Abuse
    4Equality - February 14, 2014 12:31 pm
    http://www.sau.edu/Neighborhood_Relations/SVC_Complex/Stormwater_Impact/Stormwater_Consultants.html
  10. 4Equality
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    4Equality - February 14, 2014 12:30 pm
    http://www.sau.edu/Documents/studentservices/Neighborhood-Relations/SVC/Stormwater-Study-Appendix-IV-010614.pdf
  11. ArandomGuy
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    ArandomGuy - February 14, 2014 9:01 am
    Haha actually to be technical Live right up the street from Assumption/ across the street from were they want to put the practice facilities so it is my neighborhood. This is part of the reason that the Iowa side of the Quad Cities is falling behind in the rest of the state. They cant make improvements because people are worried about things like lighting and traffic for a couple football games on friday nights and games on saturday mornings for Ambrose. Id gladly pay a few extra dollars in taxes for the athletes in town both high school and college to have a great new stadium and practice facility.
  12. Report Abuse
    - February 14, 2014 8:05 am
    Really? It depressed values in Eldridge. Homes are worth less than those homes even a block or two away.

    PV is new construction with all new infrastructure, not hundred year old infrastructure as in Davenport. Perhaps if you'd be willing to sign up and pay for any damage, then no one will need to check factors out? The city's primary hospital is on the corner. There are houses on 3 sides of the area that may be impacted. How about you relax, let the adults get the studies done. SAU doesn't pay taxes, and won't be paying for any damage caused. Do you have even a vague clue what people pay in property taxes along Marquette? South side of Central Park? Are you aware of existing sewer problems between Lomard and Central Park? Are you willing to pay for sewer line collapses? I'd much rather SAU pay for a study to make sure that and other issues are sound, rather than the city shell out millions. Are you willing to pay more for home owners insurance? Can you share with us what the impact is going to be on the east side of the stadium, where there is an entire neighborhood, west of Harrison? What's the runoff impact to Harrison? Do you even think about things, HROT? Doesn't sound like it, sounds like you want a stadium for 5 games a year. They already own property out on Brady.....not a bad place for a stadium. Practice fields? Again - do all the investigation before. Like the slogan, Call before you dig? Same applies.
  13. Report Abuse
    - February 14, 2014 7:56 am
    Random, they are the only ones with a voice, it's their neighborhood, not yours.

    The people will notice, if the sewers can't handle the rainwater, and their basements take on a foot of water. Maybe you shouldn't be a cheerleader, until you investigate some facts. If you live in Davenport, do you realize that you'll be paying for any issues that arise from your property taxes? Are you aware SAU doesn't pay taxes?
  14. 4Equality
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    4Equality - February 13, 2014 8:46 pm
    *Labor Day to Mid Oct.....
  15. 4Equality
    Report Abuse
    4Equality - February 13, 2014 3:34 pm
    Sports crowds and traffic are NOT NEW TO THIS AREA! For the past 30 years, every Sunday, from the Memorial Day to mid October over 1000 youth football players have games on the Assumption campus on 3 fields. Upwards of 4000+ (on the low range) parents, relatives and siblings are in attendance driving in multiple vehicles every week, in and out of ONE entrance, Central Park Dr has handled the traffic. Adding the new parking lot and entrance off Central Park at the St Vincent Drive will help the traffic flow in and out of the complex.
    Football, Basketball, Baseball and Softball games are already played on this property. Charter and School buses already leave in and out of the existing lot. The plan includes improved drainage of storm water into the existing runoff watershed between stadium and new parking lot.
    Students already commute to the complex for practice. Walking, riding a bike, driving or crawling back and forth between complex and campus.

    Nothing being proposed is a NEW IDEA to the area, it is already being done!

    LET SAU improve it!
  16. ArandomGuy
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    ArandomGuy - February 13, 2014 11:49 am
    Assumption and SAU need a need stadium. The people around the new athletic complex need to stop complaining about this project and embrace it. Be happy the community is being improved. The people who live around the new complex wont even notice it once its done.
  17. Mommad1
    Report Abuse
    Mommad1 - February 13, 2014 10:42 am



    Unadulterated truth, Thank you for at least being curious and making comment of what the neighbors will have to face. So much of what you say is so very true.



    If you are truly curious, those of you who make comments without proper investigation into the WHOLE story, I would love to see you at some of these meetings as stated in the piece and talk to actual neighbors along with SAU reps. The next one being Monday Feb. 17th noon to one p.m.. I will be there as one rep. to answer neighbor questions along with several other neighbors.
    The home team games will be more than just that, common sense thinking is all we, the neighbors ask.
    They are not building a 2.500 (to possibly be expanded at a later time to 5,000 seat stadium) for only 5 games a year?


  18. HROTer
    Report Abuse
    HROTer - February 13, 2014 9:09 am
    The notion the stadium will depress home values is also ridiculous. Pleasant Valley's newly expanded football field - which holds more than the 2,500 planned for SAU and which also hosts the state of Iowa's second-largest marching band - directly abuts homes in the $400,000 to $500,000 range, with new construction popping up all around.

    Too much of the usual NIMBYism in central Davenport.
  19. Report Abuse
    - February 13, 2014 9:09 am
    I'm curious to hear the surrounding neighbors on Marquette, and Gaines to Harrison on the east west sides, and Central park and south to Lombard, as this will be increased traffic. Can the sewers handle the increased groundwater that's going to occur,seeing that it's going from greenspace to pavement? Not to mention, the home team only has 5 games a year.
  20. Vagabond
    Report Abuse
    Vagabond - February 13, 2014 6:45 am
    Well said. Now let the construction begin. I'm rooting for the home teams!
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