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University releases sound study on West Campus field

Queen’s has released a university-initiated noise impact assessment of its West Campus artificial turf field located at the intersection of Johnson Street and Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard. The study contains several recommendations for sound reduction in the area.

“We felt it was important to address the concerns expressed by some of our neighbours by getting an expert opinion and some recommendations for sound mitigation,” says Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic).  “We have already begun implementing these recommendations, and hope this will enable use of the fields in a way that is not disruptive to nearby residents.”

In July, Queen’s received a temporary, limited exemption to the City of Kingston’s noise bylaw for Richardson Stadium and the field that was the subject of the study. As part of the application, the university committed to the completion of the sound study and the initiation of mitigation strategies therein.

The noise impact assessment, conducted by HGC Engineering, predicted and analyzed levels of sound at the turf field and the surrounding area. While predicted sound levels due to intermittent field activity rarely exceeded the Ministry of the Environment’s limits, recommendations were made to help further reduce sound levels.

The recommendations include:

  • Utilizing an alternate, distributed sound system and directing the speakers in a particular fashion.
  • Requiring field renters that want to play amplified sound to utilize the Queen’s University sound system.
  • Requiring the use of Fox 40 Pearl or equivalent whistles where officiating rules permit.
  • Completing additional sound level testing after implementation of noise control measures to verify the sound level improvement.

“The university is committed to implementing all of the recommendations made in the report, and to continuing to work with our neighbours to gather feedback on our sound reduction strategies,” says Leslie Dal Cin, Executive Director, Athletics and Recreation.

The university has made changes regarding the sound system and whistles used on the turf field, and initial feedback from local residents has been positive. A call-in line has been established to address any concerns, and a webpage created that includes field use schedules and regular updates.

The complete study can be found here