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Neighbors respond to Edgewood lawsuit

MADISON (WKOW) — After a months-long battle Edgewood High School is suing the City of Madison over whether it can use its new athletic field to host games.

This past spring, the city issued Edgewood violations for hosting games on the field, citing the school’s master plan which only allows the field to be used for practices and gym class.

Edgewood is alleging religious discrimination in its lawsuit.

The lawsuit comes as the school hosted its first football game of the season on that field Thursday night.

The school says it is only filing this lawsuit as a backup. Its main hope is to terminate the master plan through an ordinance.

That ordinance goes in front of the Common Council in September.

Some neighbors are in opposition to the school playing any games on the field, and say the religious freedom issue brought up in the lawsuit doesn’t make sense.

“They were saying that the city hasn’t taken this kind of action with any other high school,” Andrea Kaminski, who lives across from the stadium, said. “Well, our kids in this neighborhood, who went to public schools went to West and West High doesn’t have a football field, it certainly doesn’t have a stadium.”

But not everyone is against the expansion plans.

One former student says he’s disappointed it had to go to a lawsuit but thinks students deserve opportunities he didn’t have in his time at Edgewood.

“I think it’s important, we had to travel when I was a student, and it’s nice to have a home court advantage if you will,” Greg Ohmen, who was in the area, said. “That’s my vote, I’d like to see it go through.”

Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway originally sponsored the ordinance but withdrew her support because of the lawsuit.

She said “The City of Madison does not discriminate against any religion. Edgewood High School is free to pursue the repeal of its master plan utilizing normal city processes”.

The school says it notified the city weeks ago it was going to be filing a suit, and was “disappointed that the mayor pulled her support for the ordinance she recommended to them in the first place.”

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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