Sept. 21, 2011
The Raleigh City Council on Tuesday, Sept. 20, unanimously approved a 2,500-seat plan for the George Williams Athletic Complex. With the approval of the plan, the University's football and track teams will have an on-campus venue for home games. The plan requires St. Aug to offer free on-campus parking and limits the University to a maximum of 15 events in the stadium each year.
"We are pleased that the city council recognized the importance of this stadium, not only to Saint Augustine's University, but the community at large," President Dianne Boardley Suber said. "Our student-athletes, coaches and alumni deserve to have a place to call their own.”
Amid opposition from community members, student leaders, alumni, members of the Saint Augustine's University Board of Trustees, community residents and various others spoke on the potential positive impact of the athletic complex. Amber Thomas, a Saint Augustine's University senior, encouraged City Council members to remember the students.
“Think back to your university and even high school football games. Give us the same opportunity, the same memories," Thomas said. "Remember the students and the experiences you had as a student.”
Not all community members were opposed to the stadium.
"I look forward to the day when I can see Olympic track stars in my neighborhood," said Oakwood resident Scott Meiser. "This stadium is a blessing.”
Construction is complete on the project's first phase, which includes a nine-lane internationally sanctioned track and a FieldTurf playing field. The installation of the seating is included in Phase II.
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