Bozeman Stadium Gets Pushback from Neighbors

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Neighbors of Bozeman (Mont.) High School say the proposed location of a new $7 million football stadium will cause massive parking headaches while disrupting otherwise quiet neighborhoods.

Concerned citizens are now asking the Bozeman School Board to either keep the football stadium where it is now or build a new parking lot just east of the new location proposed for the stadium.

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Chris Wasia, a civil engineer who lives near the school, told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that Bozeman High should “take care of the impacts on their own property,” noting that such upheaval can be “hard on neighborhoods.” Wasia’s firm, Genesis Engineering, has worked with Abelin Traffic Services to prepare a nine-page report on Bozeman High’s parking problems. 

The issue will be discussed at a school board meeting Thursday night, and the board is expected to decide as soon as Monday on whether to approve the new stadium.  

Rob Watson, superintendent for Bozeman Schools, said trustees and administrators received copies of the parking assessment for the stadium over winter break. “I anticipate Thursday will be an opportunity for us to present our plan and an opportunity for the board to hear from Mr. Wasia,” Watson said. 

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Last May, voters approved a $125 million bond issue to finance improvements to Bozeman High, which included a renovation to Bozeman High Schools’ Van Winkle Stadium. The cost of the renovations, however, turned out to be too high and the new stadium was proposed.

The stadium plan is remains up in the air, as school officials are still eyeing a possible opportunity to partner with Montana State University, which recently approved a $4.5 million intramural field. Bozeman High and Montana State are hoping to save money on their individual projects by hiring the same firms to install artificial turf at the two facilities.

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