MARCO ISLAND — It's the field of dreams: build it and they will come, Marco's athletic community has said.
Council unanimously approved a new baseball diamond and additional lighting at Winterberry Park, which is located on Winterberry Drive north of Heathwood Drive.
The baseball diamond will be constructed up to Little League Baseball specifications and will be located in the park between the existing softball field and soccer field, said Parks and Recreation Director Bryan Milk.
Council chose to award a contract with Boran Craig Barber Engel to construct the baseball field for no more than $222,522.
Milk reported that another $85,000 is also available in capital improvement dollars for five new light poles and electric control panels to be installed for the field. The lighting will allow night play on all three fields at the park.
Councilman Chuck Kiester said he was initially opposed to the expense, but when he realized the baseball diamond was for Little League, he had to support it. Other councilman agreed.
Optimist Club President Tom Garousi said he was very pleased with council’s decision to approve building the new baseball diamond. He said the new field, lighting and the potential of sharing a concession stand with multiple games played simultaneously will allow for increased efficiency of sharing volunteers at the stand and using the same fields for more hours in a day.
“We are desperately in need of all types of playing fields ... By extending the day with night lighting, the net effect is an additional field,” Garousi said following Monday’s meeting.