Community members are considering legal action to delay the construction of a new soccer field at an Old East Ottawa high school.

Earlier this year, The Ottawa Catholic School board signed a 21-year-deal with the Ottawa Footy Sevens to build a $2-million field at Immaculata High School.

The plan includes new artificial turf, LED lights, a fence, as well as a new track.

The group “Neighbours for Community Fields” brought their concerns directly to the field at Immaculata High School Sunday for what they call a “picnic protest.” They say they are considering legal action.

Hanya Soliman says “we are putting together a cease and desist letter. We have sought legal advice we are going to be sending this to them shortly. There is no remedy that can be solved out of court.”

They say they have also sent a letter to the Minister of Education as well as numerous letters to their local councillor.

Soliman says, “We are going to resist this it’s not fair to let a business come and take over a community field that we have used for decades.”

Residents are upset they were not consulted enough about the plan and they were not able to voice their concerns.

Lilia Frick says she attended meetings and wrote emails to city councillors.  “I find it really upsetting that we weren’t consulted at all and we weren’t informed of what was going on.”

Other concerns include noise violations, restricted hours, and environmental impact.

The Ottawa Catholic School says in a statement, “There is a group of neighbours who are against the enhancements and while their concerns have been heard, the Board is proceeding with the project that will benefit thousands of students over the coming years and will provide recreational enjoyment for many in the community. “

It goes on to say that “The Board has indicated that there will still be some free access for neighbours and the Board is willing to work with individual neighbours to add shrubbery etc. to help mitigate noise and light concerns. “

Shovels are expected to be in the ground by the end of the month, with the project completed by the end of August 2018.