Neighborhood wants more communication from ECU about Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium upgrades

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – There is a lot of excitement surrounding upgrades to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

However, one group has mixed reviews.

Just a few steps away from the stadium sits the entrance to the Forest Hills neighborhood.

“We wanted to be close to the stadium. We wanted to be close to football, baseball,” said Mary-Marshall Heckstall, who lives near the stadium.

“I’m an ECU alumni and I’ve been a Pirate Club member for over 30 years and I love the football program,” Fred Eagan said.

It’s no secret that the Forest Hills neighborhood is a part of Pirate Nation.

“You know, everybody’s a Pirate. Everybody gets along great,” said Heckstall.

Most people in the area are excited about the expansion. They just want to know how it’s going to impact them.

“I thought it was great for the football program, but no so good for the neighborhood,” said Eagan.

In order for the renovations to become a reality, the university has to purchase four houses on Fieldside Street. Two families have already left their homes. Neighbors say a third will be out at the beginning of May.

While people on Rosewood Drive don’t have to move, they’re kind of upset they’re hearing everything through word of mouth.

“They haven’t really communicated with us. We kind of saw the video like everyone else,” said Heckstall.

“The only reason I know about the expansion, as I said I’ve been a Pirate Club member for over 30 years, so I see it from that information source, but not because I’m a resident of the neighborhood next to the stadium,” added Eagan.

Neighbors say parking and high volumes of traffic are something they’re always worried about. At the end of the day, they just want to be in the loop.

“What is the plan? Cause we are right here where the expansion is going to be in,” said Heckstall.

9 On Your Side reached out to the University. A representative with their communications office says Athletic Director Jeff Compher has to answer questions about how the changes were communicated to residents. They say he is out of town.

We also reached out to the athletic department. They told us they weren’t handling this situation.

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