Letters to the Editor

Why Islander Stadium needs to be locked

The School Board recently approved an interlocal agreement with the City of Mercer Island that largely addresses a joint scheduling agreement to allow community-based organizations to use both city and school district fields and facilities. As part of that partnership, a provision regarding the use of a “key card” for access into the MIHS Stadium exists. To clear up misinformation regarding school district fields, I offer the following:

All grass fields throughout the district remain unlocked during the year for scheduled use by community groups and incidental use by the community. Use by scheduled users and community members occurs after the school day.

The JV grass field at MIHS may be restricted for use at times during the year in order to allow the field to be restored after heavy use.

The district installed new field turf at the stadium this summer when the previous field turf was deemed unsafe. Though the field turf did not last through its warranty life, the manufacturer provided deep discounts to the district for its replacement.

Beginning sometime in mid-winter or spring, the use of a “key card” will be needed to only access the MIHS stadium and track. The district wishes to identify those users who are not part of an organized group but wish to have access to the stadium and track. Because the district allows incidental use by the community during the school day, the system is intended to identify who is on the school campus, just as we presently do with school volunteers. Parents expect that we maintain safety standards and know who is on our school campuses when students are present.

Key cards will be distributed to the community beginning in mid-winter at the administration building and will cost $5. Seniors over age 65 will have the fee waived upon request. Our facilities are planned, built and maintained for the use of our students. We appreciate the Mercer Island community’s long-standing support of our schools and hope that users of district fields and facilities will understand our paramount need to provide and maintain a safe environment for our students, to protect the district from liability and to prolong the life of our facilities for student and community use.

Dr. Gary Plano

MISD Superintendent

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