BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Terry Contracting of Riverhead began work on the new girls softball field at McGann-Mercy High School a couple weeks ago. The team previously played at Stotzky Park.
Contractors are in the final stages of building a new softball field at McGann-Mercy High School, funded entirely by parent and alumni donations, said Bob Terry of Terry Contracting, a member of Mercy’s Class of 1977.
His company began working on the field about a month ago and plans to have it finished by September.
Mercy softball players had previously been bused to nearby Stotzky Park for practices and games, taking up a good portion of practice time, said Debbie Kneidl, the school’s director of advancement.
By practicing on campus, students will have an additional 45 minutes, she said. The new field will also save the private school the cost of transporting students.
The school, which has junior high, junior varsity and varsity teams, may still need to use Stotzky Park for practices when games are scheduled at the school, Ms. Kneidl said.
“It’s going to allow students to play on their home campus, which enhances overall school pride for the kids,” she said.
The project, which involved filling in 17,000 square feet of wetlands, is closely connected to the schools recently completed pond remediation project, which added 53,000 square feet of wetlands, according to project architect Shawn Leonard.
The additional wetland space made adding the field possible, he said.
Acquiring field space had been a problem for Mercy before to the pond remediation project, Mr. Terry said.
The school needed approval from both Riverhead Town and the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Ms. Kneidl said.
Project foreman Mike Jones said his team is working on leveling the area and adding drainage before either seeding grass or, if sufficient funds can be raised, laying down sod so students can use the space sooner.
Ms. Kneidl said the project would not have been possible without alumni and community support. Anyone who would like to get involved should contact her by calling 631-727-5900.