New Taft High School Stadium Causes Uproar Among Neighbors

Given the terrible turf William Howard Taft High School athletes now use for practice and play, no one at Tuesday night's meeting objected to what they call the “gift” of a new artificial turf field.

It’s what comes with it that’s the problem.

Next door neighbors like Joe McFeely are upset about the ups and extras of the Chicago Public School design.

“Who’s going to want to buy my house with that right in back of it?” McFeely said.

His backyard and garage, as well as his neighbors, run right along this alley that’s next to this fence and right over it will be he 10-15 foot high bleachers the 80-foot-tall light poles, the PA system, the crowds and that’s what bothers them.

Chicago Public Schools insists it’s not a stadium. And coaches and players at Tuesday's meeting pledge to patrol for post game garbage. Taft’s principal pledges 24/7 support.

But neighbor Jim Whitesole and others are not convinced.

"It’s 1,200 seats light scoreboard PA, you know--why isn’t it a stadium?” he asked.

While the Local School Council says some accommodations may be made, CPS staff in charge of the project expect the multi purpose field for football lacrosse and soccer to be completed late this year in time the school hopes to finally be on equal footing with arch rival Lane Tech.

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