Athletic Fields Lawsuit ( .PDF )
The Centennial Neighborhood Association has filed a lawsuit against the City of Lawrence and the Lawrence school district in an effort to stop construction of proposed athletic facilities.
The lawsuit, filed on Monday, seeks to nullify permits granted to build a football stadium, soccer field, softball field and other athletic facilities near Lawrence High School, 1901 La., and the Lawrence Virtual School, just south of LHS.
Residents of the neighborhood complained at city and school board meetings earlier this year that construction of the facilities would hinder their quality of life.
Several hardships the new facilities would bring upon surrounding residents are listed in the lawsuit, including light pollution, noise pollution, increased traffic, increased litter and decreased neighborhood aesthetics.
The lawsuit alleges that the Lawrence City Commission approved the ordinance, which allowed the construction, based on information and communications that were not part of the public record, and prejudged the application contrary to state law.
It also alleges that the school district's action has interfered with the residents' use and enjoyment of their properties, and that the district's action is "substantial and unreasonable."
Attorney Ed Collister, representing the plaintiffs, said he would not discuss the lawsuit Tuesday.
School district officials have said the new construction would address inequities in outdoor facilities between its two high schools - LHS and Free State High school - along with improving safety and making it easier to meet Title IX requirements for female athletes.
At city and school board meetings in previous months, neighbors expressed concerns that the facilities would be used for more than just school district activities, compounding quality-of-life issues.
Athletic construction projects at Free State have been met with little opposition.