Members of CSU community work toward stopping the stadium

Christina Vessa

Students, residents and members of the community are taking steps toward halting construction of an on-campus stadium. Stop the Stadium is a group that will be taking direct, political and legal action to divert a stadium from being built on the main campus of Colorado State University.

The group is organizing a rally and demonstration March 11 at the Oval from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sandy Lemberg, the facilitator of the group, said Stop the Stadium does not have a stance on what the University does with Hughes Stadium, but they are against stadium construction on main campus.

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“The Board of Governors and Frank will do what they want to,” Lemberg said. “The only way to stop it is to show that there is so much opposition.”

A rendering of the on-campus stadium at CSU, which is expected to break ground in summer 2015.
A rendering of the on-campus stadium at CSU, which is expected to break ground in summer 2015.

A group of more than 40 people were in attendance at the first meeting Thursday. Everything from yard signs, a student and faculty strike to legislative and legal recourse was proposed as options for direct action against the construction of a stadium on campus.

Mark Polk, a Fort Collins resident since 1997, proposed legal recourse as an option at the meeting Wednesday evening. The proposition was met with enthusiasm from people in attendance.

“Put a foot down right now. We need legal advice,” Polk said. “There are two or three members of city council who are not in favor, but they are reluctant to go full blast out for it because there is an election coming up.”

Polk said his goal is to stop the stadium from being built anywhere, in comparison to Lemberg’s goal of halting construction of a stadium on the main campus.

“Every time I get involved with this it gives me an ulcer,” said Carl Patton, a retired physics professor at CSU. He said other members of the CSU faculty expressed their opposition at the faculty council meetings he attended for the past two years.

“Did they do anything? No,” Patton said. “Don’t ask me why.”

He said many members of the faculty council have expressed opposition to the stadium.

This sign was presented as an idea as a new yard sign with a stronger message than "Renew Hughes," which was used by Save Our Stadium Hughes.
This sign was presented as an idea as a new yard sign with a stronger message than “Renew Hughes,” which was used by Save Our Stadium Hughes.

The Board of Governors voted 8-1 in favor of a finance plan to borrow $242 million for the new stadium Feb. 5. Treasurer Joe Zimlich, CEO of the Bohemian Foundation, voted in opposition.

“As students we are paying,” said Juliana Cullen, a junior ecosystem science and sustainability major. “I know that my community has a really large voice and we come in really large numbers.” She said it is important to focus on getting the word out to all types of communities.

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Stephanie Moothart, a senior ecosystem science and sustainability major, said she likes Hughes Stadium because it is up against the foothills and under the A.

The City of Fort Collins and the University are nearing completion of an Intergovernmental Agreement, which will mitigate impacts of construction of a stadium on campus, according to a press release. The city and CSU will be presenting the IGA at a Planning & Zoning Board meeting March 6 at 2:30 p.m. at City Hall, 300 LaPorte Ave.

Attendees at the meeting Wednesday evening said every candidate for city council and mayor should be asked to go on record for their position on the stadium. City council elections will be held April 7.

“You can’t tell people what to think, but you can talk about it and have people listen,” Cullen said.

Collegian Assistant News Editor Christina Vessa can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @chrissyvessa.