Environmental Impact of the Site Adjoining Hanes Park
- Open Green Space Reduced Urban green space, an endangered civic resource, would be severely and permanently diminished. Hanes Park and the Wiley hills currently offers all citizens an un-programmed green space and a waterway rich with diverse species of trees and birds, close to downtown.
- Park Vistas Destroyed The park’s pastoral nature would be diminished by the scale of proposed adjacent structures and pervasive noise.
- Waterways Contaminated Traffic runoff and pollution would contaminate Peter’s Creek.
- Trees Lost Mature trees, not only on the project site but also along Hawthorne Road would be sacrificed as roads are cut into the green space. The loss of these stately old-growth trees would drastically diminish the park-like character of the area.
- Project Costs The current proposal shifts all responsibility to Home Field Advantage, however HFA has not changed their projected fundraising goal of $5-6 million to reflect increased financial responsibility. No estimate of total cost has been presented to date.
- Maintenance Costs Taxpayers must take on the expense of operation and upkeep of the proposed complex (stadium with lights & security personnel, roads, parking lot & bridge).
- Potential Additional Costs A previous private fundraising attempt for the renovation of Reynolds Auditorium fell short of private funds. Taxpayers were burdened with the unpaid debt. This could happen again.
- Emergency Access Hindered One of the main emergency routes from East/West communities to Wake Forest Medical Center is Northwest Blvd (via Hawthorne Rd). Congestion from cars, buses and crowds surrounding the stadium would negatively impact emergency vehicle access.
- Traffic Congestion Already slated as a critical artery in the Business 40 shutdown plan, Northwest Blvd is expected to absorb re-routed interstate traffic during years of project construction. Any additional traffic congestion would cause a horrific impact on already over-burdened communities during interstate bridge construction.
- Parking Problems Provision for parking is inadequate. A small parking lot next to the stadium with maximum capacity of 35 cars is all that is currently proposed. One event could bring 2,000 cars into the streets and neighborhoods surrounding the park.
- Few Students Benefit The proposed stadium would serve a few students, diverting funds from academic programs that serve all students.
- Exclusive Use The stadium would serve a single interest group, not the needs of the citizenry as a whole. Its walls and fences would keep out anyone not directly involved in Reynolds athletics.
Ultimately, this is a School Board project. They decide whether to proceed with the project and how to allocate funds. Theo Helm, spokesperson for the schools, said “Our board has informally told them [stadium backers] that if you can raise the money for the stadium that they will approve a plan to put the stadium together.” School Board projects do not require any public hearings or public process, but citizens may attend meetings.
Note: Reynolds High School’s current stadium at Deaton-Thompson has been proposed to receive funding for repairs.
See the School Board’s full June 2012 bond referendum.