Town postpones Chase ruling

by Jeffrey Tanenhaus | 11/18/98 6:00am

The College presented specifics in the plan to upgrade Chase Field during the 10th public hearing in 11 months at a town planning board meeting last night in which deliberations were postponed and a private hearing established next Tuesday.

The College's presentation in the overflowing courtroom included updated light measurements and a categorization of the times Chase field would be used during specific hours. The College also asked for the would-be construction to be extended from three to four years.

The public meetings have been heated, as some residents living near Chase field oppose the project because of disturbances from noise and light, while the College seeks to upgrade the insufficient athletic facilities.

Artificial turf and new foot-candle lighting poles are proposed alterations for Chase field, which is used by the lacrosse and field hockey teams.

"The College guarantees these initial aluminum foot-candle values," and that their intensity would comply with zoning ordinances and thus would not agitate residents, Deputy Director of Athletics Robert Ceplikas said

Ceplikas divided field usage into game and practice time. He said night games would only be played 30 hours per year, resulting in crowd noise, public address announcements and high-intensity lighting. Only half of those hours would actually be after dark, ending at 9 p.m. at the latest, he said.

Residents have expressed concern about noise and light overflow from the proposed field.

Practices would entail less noise and light disturbance, but could go on for a greater number of hours, anywhere from 6 to 11 p.m. at night.

Ceplikas said ambient sports noise would be inaudible from inside surrounding residences.

Some local residents continue to disapprove of the College's plans. One Hanover resident spoke of the "contentious issue" as usage of the field increases and the enforcement of allotted times wanes over time.

Others discussed the field as more suburbanization of Hanover, noting that the field is at the town's core though it is on the fringes of the campus.

Woman's Lacrosse Coach Amy Patton said, "We have top Division I athletes, and they deserve better facilities. We don't offer the best conditions, and we absolutely need lights for practice. Our home games are played away."