Tuesday’s Sherbeck Field project scoping meeting brought together opponents and supporters of the proposed stadium in an extremely brief explanation of the project’s process and where it currently stands.
The glitz, glam and college stigma of an outdoor sporting arena has skipped Fullerton College until recently. Since the approval of Measure J in November 2014, many campus upgrades are in the works but none as prolific as those proposed for the improvements to Sherbeck Field.
The awkwardly short gathering in the campus theater served to let the public know that a draft of an environmental impact report — referred to as the EIR — will be drafted and what exactly the improvements entail along with their intended uses.
Rachel Struglia, the author of the impending EIR and employee of Dudek, the project management company working with the college on the Sherbeck Field improvements, addressed the audience.
“We’re at the very beginning of a process tonight,” stated Struglia.
The steps of the EIR process were laid out. The scoping meeting and subsequential open house served as a sort of forum for the community to see what exactly the stadium will look like, a proposed schedule of uses and to offer feedback, in writing.
Fullerton College president Greg Schulz initially requested the audience “listen and share comments later so that everyone has an opportunity to receive the information.”
However, after 15 minutes of jargon and mapping out the process which should culminate with the final EIR in November of this year, community members attempted to voice concerns only to be drowned out by Sting singing in increasing volume over the theater speakers.
As it stands, there is a 408-page draft of the initial study for the Sherbeck Field project available online for the public to review. Comments regarding the project as well as suggested alternatives or improvements can be submitted in writing until May 8.
“We are really interested in soliciting your input to the scope of the EIR,” Struglia told the crowd. She also encouraged the community to submit specific comments with any feasible alternatives, ideas or improvements that can be analyzed by the ultimate deciding committee, the NOCCCD board of trustees.
Comments will be organized by topic and summarized within the first two chapters of the EIR along with where in the report they are answered.
Jacob Davies, a Fullerton College alumni and neighbor voiced concerns regarding noise and increases in both foot and auto traffic.
“Actually I nearly got hit just walking here from my house on Berkeley and Chapman,” he shared. “I haven’t been presented with enough reasons for the project to happen in the first place.”
On the other hand, people like first year Fullerton College student Ian Rusk, as well as the Associated Student body, support the proposed plans that will provide metal stadium bleachers to seat about 4,300 people, six light poles and upgrades to the public announcement system.
“It’s not really a stadium anyway. It’s just bleachers and lights,” stated Rusk. “It’s kind of ridiculous to have a college that doesn’t have lights or even enough space to accommodate a decent amount of people to watch the football game.”
For additional information, visit www.fullcoll.edu/campusprojects.