On Wednesday night residents near the proposed site for a new Wichita Christian School football field met. Over 30 residents met to talk about the potential change to their quiet neighborhood.
Jill West said, “We want Wichita Christian to have a football field . We want them to have an athletic center for their kids there, but not here.”
Wichita Christian School Board Member Harry Patterson is one of the two men buying the Wilson House Property. In his email statement to Newschannel 6 he said they would make the property available to WCS for their physical education ministry. However, this is exactly what dozens of the site's neighbors do not want.
Naoma Clark said, “Just because you can buy it, doesn't mean you can have it.”
Many of the residents said they moved to the area because it is peaceful, but they believe that will change.
“The lighting, the noise. There are so many things,” West said.
“It's like our bubble of our dream place to be is being slowly broken,” Peg Marquardt said.
However, Patterson and the School's Board President, Dr. Don Heyen assure residents this is a positive move for the school. They also said it will not disrupt the neighborhood.
Patterson said the property would only be used for the religious affiliation. They said they can use the existing structures and parking. All that would be added is the football field.
Other board members are also excited about the centralized location to its campuses. One school parent Newschannel 6 spoke to off camera said he is optimistic that the new field would add to the school's athletic program. He said it would also be great to show future athletes.
However, it is very clear that WCS will have to win over their potential new neighbors.
“We're going to fight this to the very end,” West said, “We do not want this.”
“We intend to blanket the neighborhood and all the surrounding streets with the clear message "We are opposed. Save our neighborhood,”” Naoma Clark said.
Many of the residents have filed their objections with the Planning and Zoning Commission. They hope this will convince the buyers and the school to reconsider putting the football field on the Wilson House property.
Dr. Heyes said the school board plans to meet with the residents to talk about the plan. A meeting date has not been set, but they want to know how the residents feel. They also want to explain how the new football field would benefit their neighborhood.