Boise State University won approval from the City of Boise’s Planning & Zoning Commission Monday night to add lighting to a field that hosts the school’s women’s soccer program.
Boise State applied for an update to its conditional use permit to allow for a series of 70′ tall poles with LED light fixtures at the soccer fields at the Boas complex on Oakland Ave. near Protest Hill and the Boise Bench.
The Planning & Zoning Commission approved the project without testimony at Monday night’s hearing, after no one appeared at the hearing to submit testimony.
The Boas facility – named for donor Jerry Boas – opened in 1990 with a set of two indoor tennis “bubbles.” Women’s soccer added practice fields to the site in the late 1990s, and later built a full-size competition field.
A ‘big deal’
Boise State Director of Athletics Jeramiah Dickey told BoiseDev the project is a “big deal” for student-athletes.
In a separate application letter, Dickey said lighting will increase scheduling flexibility for the program.
“The addition of lights at the BOAS (sic) facility will make a significant positive impact on the student-athlete experience,” he wrote. Flexibility with scheduling our competitions will impact many areas of our soccer program, not the least of which includes Title IX implications and decreasing the amount of class time our student-athletes are forced to miss. Our belief is that the site is uniquely situated, and its location reduces many of the concerns often associated with field lighting. The careful consideration of the number of nights, hours of operation, and light type will create a successful operation for the university and the neighborhood.”
Dickey wrote in the letter that the school invited 200 adjacent residents to an informational meeting, and on one showed up. A formal neighborhood meeting had two attendees. The school said the 70′ tall poles had a lower impact on light intrusion for homes on the bench than lower 45′ poles would have.
“At 70’ height, lighting can be directed downward toward the field, creating more even light for playing conditions, and less horizontal light trespass and glare to adjacent uses,” Dickey wrote.
Separately, yesterday, Boise State announced a $750,000 donation from a donor who asked the school to withhold their name to upgrade lighting at Albertsons Stadium. The school has been working to upgrade to LED lighting across the campus.