College upgrade will add traffic

Darleene Barrientos

Glendale Community College's neighbors can expect more traffic after

the campus' stadium is renovated, but college officials are

considering ways to lessen the impact.

The track and field improvements, new lights and the 853-car

parking structure are all part of the college's latest Measure G

renovations, estimated to cost $4 million. Measure G is a

voter-approved bond that gave the college $98 million to spend on

capital improvements.

The college's board of trustees considered an environmental impact

report on the project last week. Most of the college's past projects

have not affected the community, said Larry Serot, GCC's executive

vice president of administrative services. But college officials

anticipate the stadium and the parking structure will affect the

neighborhood so an environmental report was necessary, Serot said.

Some of the problems college officials anticipate are the reaction

neighbors will have to the new stadium lights and the expected surge

in traffic for weekend football and soccer games when the stadium's

track, field, seats and scoreboard are finished.

The GCC board approved a $1.01-million bid for the stadium lights

and voted to spend no more than $31,500 for consultants and

inspectors.

Traffic will provide the biggest impact on the neighborhood, Serot

said.

"We're proposing to install a signal on Mountain Avenue and

proposing to widen the street a little, to mitigate the traffic for

the new structure," he said. "Hopefully, people will be going to ball

games. If we [rented the field for youth soccer games], we'd have

them coming in all the time. There will be some traffic implication

to opening up the field to the community that we have to address."

Athletic Director Jim Sartoris doesn't believe the stadium

renovation will cause a dramatic surge in traffic, even for Friday

football games.

"We don't draw big crowds -- it's just the nature of community

college football," he said. "If we get 300 or 400 people at our home

games, we're lucky. Soccer gets hardly any crowds at all. We just

hope we get a little more than we had in the past because it's here

on campus."

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