Battle over Delaware County athletic stadium ends up in court

The Friday night football cheering crowds and marching band is a tradition. However, George and Marcia Levitsky see from a very different perspective.  

"The sound and the lights, it’s constant. It’s like a daily intrusion," Marcia said.

The Nether Providence Township couple says it’s been keeping them up at night for years.  They live directly behind the George King Athletic Stadium at Strath Haven Middle School. They add if it’s not the stadium lights beaming through their windows— it’s the noise rattling them.

The couple filed suit against the Wallingford Swarthmore School District in 2017. 

For years, they have been accumulating a trove of evidence, including documents, recordings, photographs, along with a dated collection of sports balls, bottles, and debris tossed at their house over the years. They even had to build a roof for their back porch for protection.

 "We can’t go out in the yard for fear we are going to be out in the hit from an object thrown from the bleachers," George explained.

The Levitsky’s home is just over a fence, which is feet away from the stadium’s bleacher and light system. Although both have been here for decades, the Levitsky’s say they were here first.

"This was a middle school and a little dirt field," Marcia explained.

The couple built their home in 1979 when there was no stadium. Since then, bleachers and lights were added, then came the artificial turf. They say that's when the number of events at the stadium swelled and the school's marching band is literally the largest in the state.

Some Strath Haven parents were disappointed the district was being sued.  They say living near a school comes with the territory.

"It’s an awesome atmosphere.  the lights are on. It's Friday Night Lights. The band is playing which is 400 plus students," parent Derek Ryder said.

In the suit, the Levitsky’s made a list of demands, including removing and relocating the home bleachers and setting limits on when teams and marching bands can play.   

"King Field is our premier location. We want to give kids the best athletic experience we can and that requires the use of king field," attorney for the school Scott Badami said.

The attorney representing Wallingford Swarthmore says the district is exempt from local noise ordinances and believes the school, the stadium, and its band is a community asset. not a nuisance. 

 "We are disheartened this case has been filed. We never wanted it to go this far. We absolutely want to be good neighbors," Badami added.

If there’s one thing both sides agree on neither wanted to end up in court.

"This was our last resort, both of us now have heart conditions. where the stress can literally can kill us, and aside from that we would like to live," Marcia said.


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