Complaints about loud music coming from the Alderson Broaddus University stadium may cause Philippi City Council to revisit its noise ordinance if the issue can't be resolved after a meeting between the city, local residents and university leaders.
Philippi resident Valerie Minor addressed Philippi City Council Tuesday with her concern that the music from the stadium's speakers was "unnecessarily loud" and "unbearable."
"I can hear everything going on in my backyard," Minor said. "It's not possible to carry on a conversation."
Minor also said it was only the music coming from the speakers, and not the cheering nor the band performances that were at the focus of her complaint.
"The noise pollution at this level is not acceptable at any time," Minor said. "It's very loud. It's very annoying. I want to emphasize the band playing, the crowds cheering, shouting at players, everything on the field is wonderful. We enjoy that. That has nothing to do with our complaint.
"Our complaint relates only to the unnecessarily loud volume of the speakers on the scoreboard, which we find unfriendly and inconsiderate."
Council member Barbara Bryan said that, in a telephone conversation with Minor, she could hear just how loud the music was, and that she was surprised by the volume.
City Council agreed to organize a meeting between the parties involved to try to find a solution. Mayor Jerry Mouser said the noise ordinance passed this year may have to be reviewed, possibly with an amendment including all academic facilities. As of now, the schools are exempt from the ordinance.
"This has been an unusual thing for this stadium to pop up in the middle of the neighborhood," Minor said. "I understand the importance it has for the growth of the college. This is probably a good opportunity to teach young people to compromise, that they are in the middle of a community."
Minor said she attended half of the first game at the stadium. In the first half, she could hear the music playing in the stadium. But when she went home at halftime, she did not hear any music. After it became an ongoing issue, she realized that some of the language of the music was such that it would be considered inappropriate for children. She said she asked the coach to turn the volume down after the loud noises became an issue.
Minor said she was told by Alderson Broaddus football coach Dennis Creehan that the players needed the music to warm up. She said media reports on the new stadium quoted Creehan saying that the sound system was so loud, it could blow out the windows of the residences.
Minor said the coach told her he would speak with the school's president and other university officials about her complaint.