Notre Dame Prep lights in compliance, city awaits final paperwork

Scot Bemis Field at Notre Dame Preparatory. (file photo)

Notre Dame Preparatory is awaiting final approval from the city of Scottsdale on the measures of light that radiate from the stadium lighting at Scot Bemis Field, but several nearby neighbors still have concerns regarding the school.

Scottsdale Senior Planner Jesus Murillo sent an email out to residents Friday, April 28 saying the lights are in compliance and the school just needs to provide proper documentation to memorialize the new stadium lights system.

NDP has a couple of weeks from April 28 to provide the documentation to get the final approval on the system.

In the interim, Mr. Murillo informed nearby residents the school can use the lights because they are in conformance but residents can still make comments regarding the lights.

In addition to the earlier nonconformance of the lights, several residents complained the sound from the stadium was too loud. Nearby resident Sujeet Karna renewed this concern among others regarding the future of the stadium in an email to Mr. Murillo.

Mr. Karna’s two main concerns regarding the sound are on the PA system and the whistles from the game.

“The PA system should be addressed, though I’m not sure what can be done about whistles other than a sense of sensitivity and respect for the neighborhood,” he said in an May 3 email. “My concerns grow here as use of the field for games and practices will be frequent.”

Mr. Murillo said the city is aware of complaints such as these from residents.

“I have also discussed the other concerns that the some residents have had with the school, i.e. noise, and we will continue to work with the school on these matters,” he said in an April 28 email. “The school has provided staff with ways in which they will address these concerns.”

Mr. Murillo’s April 28 email also included the results from the 100-foot perimeter test. In those results, Mr. Murillo said the numbers were lower than previously approved.

Other notes Mr. Murillo provided included light measurements along the perimeter of the nearby community were lower than previously approved foot-candle measurements on 95 percent of the boundary.

As far as the field, Mr. Murillo said city staff encouraged the school to perform minor tweaks to ensure all areas of the field were closer to the previously-approved light levels.

A conversation between staff and the school’s lighting engineer where the engineer insisted the school could not meet the exact light levels of the previously approved lights because the new system perform in a different manner.

This caused city staff to look at the field as a whole instead of areas. Mr. Murillo said this yielded in staff seeing a slight decrease from the previously-approved average to the current average.

In an April 24 letter to the city, John Abney of Musco Sports Lighting responded to the city’s concerns and worked out a solution on behalf of the school.

“Musco Lighting was thrilled to be part of the solution for Notre Dame Prep and encouraged the city of Scottsdale takes a serious and detailed test to make sure the lights comply with good lighting practices,” Mr. Abney said in the letter.

Mr. Murillo said in the email residents can plan on one more email regarding the lights and also took the time to thank both residents and the school for their efforts in working with the city to find a solution.

“The school has brought the lights to better levels than previously approved,” he said. “Again, I wanted to thank the residents and the school for their trust in staff, and it was the participation of you all that produced an outcome that makes this part of the city more beneficial to everyone.”

News Services Reporter Josh Martinez can be contacted at jmartinez@newszap.com or at 623-445-2738

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