Despite recent complaints by Jefferson Park neighborhood residents over the appearance of elements of the Scott Stadium expansion, Board of Visitors members and University administrators said it is unlikely that the Board will initiate any major project facelift.
"I don't foresee any action on this item" at the Board's October meeting, University Rector John P. Ackerly III said.
Board member Terence P. Ross said he predicted resident complaints when the Board approved the stadium expansion plan in the spring of 1998.
"I feel like I'm in the position of saying 'I told you so,'" Ross said. But "I think we're too far down the road to do anything."
Board members and administrators agreed the residents would have to take a long-term view of the expansion, particularly of the concrete retaining wall around which much of the controversy has centered.
"I think in the end it will be a beautiful structure," University Architect Samuel "Pete" Anderson said. "The ivy will completely cover that wall within a couple of years."
Anderson said trees planted in front of the wall eventually will screen the area, given enough time.
But Ross said the long-term view might not satisfy the current residents of the area.
"It may be 25 years from now if the trees survive the pollution from all the cars" in the area, he said. "The children of the people who live there now will not have this problem."
Anderson said a plan to brick over the wall was considered and discarded due to cost concerns during the planning process, and said it is unlikely to be reconsidered.
"There are things which would have been done differently if we had intended to brick that wall," he said, including a shelf along the foundation and various features in the wall to support the bricks.
Anderson said these features could be added at this stage, but that they would be above the $350,000 cost estimated during the project's planning stages.
Ross also said the parking garage being constructed behind Bryant Hall will add to resident complaints.
"I argued vehemently against building the parking garage over there," he said. "I said put it over by the Student Activities Building.
"We could better work it into the landscape [by the SAB] and it would be cheaper to build there," he added.
Ross said the Board's desire to put the garage close to the stadium outweighed its desire to please the neighborhood's residents.
"The thing that galls me the most is that the 'sky suite people' could not be expected to walk 50-100 yards from parking to their suite," he said.
Anderson said the University is dedicated to working with area residents to improve the appearance of the stadium.
"We have been working with the residents since well before construction started," he said. "Understandably they are unsettled - they've been awfully good about it."