CLIFTON HEIGHTS, Pa. (CBS) — The Upper Darby School District wants to build a new middle school smack in the middle of athletic fields in Clifton Heights. Members of that small community put up a big fight Sunday.
About 400 protesters rallied Sunday on the beloved Clifton Heights Athletic Field on the 200 block of North Springfield Road. It came after the Upper Darby School Board announced plans to build a new middle school on the fields.
“We’re not against the school. We’re not against the tax increase,” Dave DiPhillipo, the protest’s organizer, said. “We’re just against them taking the heart of our town, which is these fields.”
DiPhillipo organized the rally he called Storm the Field. He wants the school board to know just how many people care about preserving the green space.
“Everything that happens in our town happens right here in this spot,” DiPhillipo said. “And it’s often referred to as sacred ground.”
Teams have been practicing on the fields for decades, DiPhillipo said. It’s also where next week’s annual Easter egg hunt will be held.
It also hosts the Fourth of July fireworks, the annual car show as well as a carnival and other events that keeps the community in Clifton Heights together.
“It’s the heart and soul of our town,” Dawn Register, of Clifton Heights, said. “It’s a little town and everybody’s like family.”
“Everyone that comes here comes as family and leaves as friends,” another resident said.
There is other pushback against the location of the school.
The borough wants the Upper Darby School Board to provide an environmental impact statement.