Mercer Island baseball players, boosters and elected officials cut the ribbon on the north field of Island Crest Park before the first varsity home game on March 14. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Mercer Island baseball players, boosters and elected officials cut the ribbon on the north field of Island Crest Park before the first varsity home game on March 14. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Mercer Island community hosts ‘homecoming’ for baseball team

The MIHS team can finally play on its home field after the re-opening of Island Crest Park.

After a team effort from the community to come up with the funding for a new field, Mercer Island High School baseball players were able to have a home game for the first time in two years.

The city of Mercer Island formally re-opened the north field at Island Crest Park on March 14, with a brief ceremony hosted by Mayor Debbie Bertlin right before the first varsity baseball game to use the new facility.

Drainage issues on the old field made it essentially unplayable. Field users from all sports and activities rallied last spring to convince the City Council to turf the north field of Island Crest Park, making it available for year-round play.

The 2.4 acre multi-sport field is now 100 percent synthetic turf and has new, highly-efficient LED lighting and a deluxe scoreboard donated by the Mercer Island Baseball Booster Club. Booster president Steve Poore threw out the first pitch at the game.

The field also contains natural cork infill, a new drainage system and a high-performance, shock absorbing foam pad beneath the surface of the turf, making it more durable for varsity sports.

The cost of the entire project was $2.3 million, with grants and community donations totaling over $700,000.

This project began as a relamping effort that expanded to become a complete field rehabilitation following the receipt of a $500,000 grant from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, with assistance from state Rep. Tana Senn, who also lives on the Island.

Thanks to the support of King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci, the project also received $70,000 from King County’s Youth and Amateur Sports Grant fund. The Mercer Island Community Foundation and Mercer Island Rotary Club also helped fund this project as a community priority.

“This simply would not have been possible without incredible support from the community, and I’m excited to see this day arrive. What a team effort,” said Parks Superintendent Paul West.

The city needed to raise another $150,000 in community matching funds, and was honored by the wide range of supporters, who ultimately gathered $160,000 in donations, according to a press release.

Mercer Island School District, Mercer Island Football Club, Nowland Premier Soccer Association and the baseball boosters all contributed early.

A group of parents, including the following, led the final funding push: Wendy Weiker, Melissa Neher, Alison Stovall, Jodi McCarthy, Tom Gallagher, Hilary Benson, Sarah LeClerq, Becky Shaddle, Sophy Yang, Laurie Givan and Brian Thomas.

The Boys and Girls Club football program, the Football Booster Club and the Mercer Island Cross Country Track Club all donated, as did many businesses, including Key Bank, Mercer Island Pediatrics, Microsoft, MI Athletic Club, Dollar Development, Brotherton Cadillac, Centurylink and Comcast.

The city said it greatly appreciates all supporters, and will place a donor recognition plaque on the field house later this spring.

Members of the Mercer Island City Council and School Board welcome the community to the renovated park. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Members of the Mercer Island City Council and School Board welcome the community to the renovated park. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Mayor Debbie Bertlin thanks the Mercer Island community for its support of the Island Crest Park project. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Mayor Debbie Bertlin thanks the Mercer Island community for its support of the Island Crest Park project. Katie Metzger/staff photo

A banner hangs on the backstop at the grand re-opening for Island Crest Park on March 14. Katie Metzger/staff photo

A banner hangs on the backstop at the grand re-opening for Island Crest Park on March 14. Katie Metzger/staff photo

City Manager Julie Underwood, Mayor Debbie Bertlin, City Councilmember Wendy Weiker and King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci smile before the grand re-opening ceremony. Katie Metzger/staff photo

City Manager Julie Underwood, Mayor Debbie Bertlin, City Councilmember Wendy Weiker and King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci smile before the grand re-opening ceremony. Katie Metzger/staff photo

More in News

Report: Only one use of excessive force upheld by Sheriff’s investigations in 2018

The Office of Law Enforcement Oversight has released its annual 2018 report.

Parts of Mercer Island left without power after car collides with pole

A 41-year-old Seattle woman was allegedly intoxicated when the accident happened.

The map shows the location of one confirmed cougar sighting and four potential sightings, as reported during the Aug. 20 City Council meeting. Image by Google Maps
Fish and Wildlife make the cougar case at city council

Officials believe courgar has been “gone for some time.”

Mercer Island rotarians Beth Baska, Becca Palm, Soonok Kwak, Carol Friends, Steve DeVos and Brent Jordan standing with one of the island’s 20 peace poles. Picture by Tracy Drinkwater
Mercer Island Walk For Peace

Rotary Club takes walkers on a journey from peace pole to peace pole Sept. 21

Mercer Island resident Meredythe Glass poses with memorabilia from “The Wizard of Oz.” Glass was an extra in the film, and was be the guest of honor at a party at her retirement community celebrating Hollywood on Feb. 22. Photo courtesy of Greg Asimakoupoulos
“Wizard of Oz” cast member dies at 98

Meredythe Glass was one of the last surviving cast members of “The Wizard of Oz.” She died on Saturday at age 98.

Groveland Beach vandalized | Police Blotter

Police blotter for July 24 - Aug. 3.

Photo courtesy of Leah Llamas
                                IMS will drive a white van around the Island capturing photo and video footage of pavements and road signage.
The City will conduct a field survey of road conditions on the Island

Every three years, the city of Mercer Island gathers data on pavement… Continue reading

Courtesy of Elisha Deo. Vanna Nguyen and James Le, pictured, have been identified as the missing persons whose boat was found Sep. 2 near Mercer Island.
Mercer Island police, U.S. Coast Guard are searching for missing boaters

Man and woman were determined missing after police found their boat near Mercer Island.

Most Read