The aging Peoria Stadium could have new life and a cricket field could be created under a student plan. Peoria Public School students, with assistance from school district officials, offered the latest proposal last night for restoration of the 80-acre site. Richwoods High School student Mariah Cooley says plans include stadium and track renovation and an enlarged fitness trail.
"We plan to keep the four softball fields where they are originally and we plan to add a fully Midwest Association cricket pitch over on the unused area. That will drive a lot of traffic because we have over 40 leagues in the Tri-County area who play cricket yet they have nowhere to go." Cooley says.
The proposal calls for a digital sign and commercial store on three-quarters of an acre where the football-shaped sign currently sits along War Memorial Drive. The store would be operated by students and sell team-oriented items and snacks. Store profits would help pay for some of the $6 million in renovation costs.
The renovation plans drew some opposition last night at the public hearing. Residents of the adjacent Oak Park neighborhood balked at a proposed commercial building and digital sign.
Neighbor Jeff Yemm has more than just concerns about light from the sign flooding his yard.
"There’s also some traffic issues. I just don’t think it was well thought out or they didn’t ask us enough questions about the impact that that store would create and the traffic issues. We already have traffic issues. Those people are going to end jup have a heck of a time pulling out down there because it’s a blind up there." Yemm says.
The students, supported by Peoria Public School officials, said they would give consideration to moving the commercial store and sign further east along War Memorial Drive. The store and sign would sit on a three-quarter acre portion of the site.
A revised plan goes before the city planning and zoning commission on June 7th.