Simmons college sports complex

LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- Simmons College of Kentucky is looking to create a sports complex in a residential west Louisville neighborhood with the help of a local church, and many residents aren't happy.

A community meeting Tuesday night turned into a shouting match between neighbors and Simmons College officials. Several of those shouting said they felt like they were “left in the gutter” and are forgotten about. The proposal introduced Tuesday would include a baseball field, football field, dorms and retail space on the six-acre plot of land that is currently owned by St. Stephen Church.

The development would also close off part of Garland Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets, closing off a street that many residents use. The land is currently zoned as residential, but the proposal requests to change it to commercial.

The church and Simmons have a partnership: Rev. Kevin Cosby is the church’s pastor and also the president of Simmons.

Those who have lived in the area for years say the sports facilities should be where the college is: seven blocks away.

“If you really wanted to do the best thing for this community then you would understand the community says no,” said Yolanda Walker, president of the California Neighborhood Leadership Council. “We don’t want this in a residential neighborhood.”

The plan initially fell through two years ago. Neighbors said they didn’t want it then, and they don’t want it now.

However, some said it will not only benefit their passion but also their futures.

“It’s more opportunities to keep the students and the kids off the streets, to keep them focused and just keep them guided,” said Marcus Tolley, a student at Simmons.

The proposal will now go to the Land Development and Transportation Committee in the next few months.

Copyright 2019 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.