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Reporter uses misleading photo of MICA location | Letter

The photograph of the former recycling center, under the headline “MICA takes step toward lease approval,” in the Jan. 25 Mercer Island Reporter, is a misleading representation of the size and the location of the proposed arts center building.

The caption asserts: “The Mercer Island Center for the Arts (MICA) is planned at this location in north Mercerdale Park” and it appears from the photograph that the building will only be replacing Bicentennial Park and the adjacent recycling center.

However, the arts center building will, in reality, occupy not only that area, but will cover almost an acre of land and stretch 270 feet south through the wooded area to within 75 feet of the skate park, and 150 feet west parallel to the Farmers Insurance building. Instead of a small 1,800-square-foot building (the present recycling center), the proposed center will be 34,000 square feet and 35 feet high, (the equivalent of three-and-a-half stories).

In addition to the proposed building itself, new information about the project reveals that a 20-foot-wide fire access road will stretch from the front of the building, past the skate park, all the way to 34th Street, where it will end in a locked gate.

The building and the accompanying paving would forever change the wooded vista bordering the great lawn that Islanders have treasured and protected for generations.

For more information about how you can help preserve our precious public parkland, visit

Charon Gooding

Mercer Island