The park will be built in multiple phases. The goal for the first phase includes 9 multi-use, natural grass fields and 4 baseball/softball diamonds, a restroom/concessions building, and dugouts. The design for this phase will also include the general site work, limited electrical, grading, seeding, irrigation, buffer trees and a traffic control gate. Gravel parking lots will be built along with access from Business US-131/N. Main Street to the entrance of the park.
The completed vision for Phase 1 of the sports complex will meet the field needs of the Three Rivers Rocket Football, Three Rivers Little League, and AYSO 1197 programs. The size of the complex and the number of fields will yield for events in many sports activities. We will also provide options for many events, offering a tent and food friendly atmosphere. We will have the ability to provide experienced tournament directors and/or supervision based on event requirements. Restroom facilities will be available and maintained throughout the event as well as an available concession staff. Relationships with local restaurants will assist with setting up team lunches and dinners, as needed. As part of the rental fee, ground crews will be available for pre-tournament set up, field maintenance, and event cleanup.
In addition to the athletic events, the fully completed park will also include a walking trail around the perimeter of the property and within the park for recreational use, non-motorized transportation, and as a pathway between fields. Pavilions will be available for rent for athletic and non-athletic events. A playground, pickleball court, and other amenities are also being considered as funding becomes available.
Representatives from the River Country Sports Commission added a pair of considerable donations toward the group’s fundraising goal of $1.2 million. It is planning to use the funds to develop several amenities related to the 17-field development.
Lost in the shuffle of a $10,000 donation and a separate $5,000 contribution was news of a $300,000 gift from lifelong Three Rivers resident Jim Stuck and his wife, Donna. Stuck, president of Fibre Converters in Constantine, earmarked the funds, with $200,000 to go toward construction of a concession stand and restroom facility, and the balance to development of a playground.
The $10,000 was presented on behalf of the Three Rivers American Youth Soccer Organization and given to the city through the Three Rivers Community Foundation, while the $5,000 came from Three Rivers Little League.
Doug Humbert, Three Rivers AYSO board member, presents a check to Three Rivers City Manager Joe Bippus. Bippus accepted the ceremonial $10,000 check Tuesday at the site of the under-construction sports complex. Jef Rietsma Sturgis Journal
Jared Hoffmaster, a member of the RCSC, said the latest contributions put the fundraising amount nearly halfway to the commission’s seven-figure goal. He was one of several people who addressed a crowd of about 50 people at the complex site, located between North Main Street and Buckhorn Road.
Matt Stofer, Three Rivers Community Schools athletic director, said he looks forward to the district keeping a strong rapport with the RCSC. “Everything the committee has done is for the kids of Three Rivers and its going to be great moving forward ... we look forward to having a great relationship with all the youth programs,” he said. “It’s very good for the high school to know that AYSO soccer, rocket football, youth baseball are all organized and ran well, and now this is your home, and that’s amazing. We look forward to it.”
Stofer shared emails from Three Rivers High School alumni who are in the district’s sports hall of fame. Correspondences from Todd Crose, Tim Ryan and Travis Key all spoke strongly in favor of the development and how it will benefit youth in Three Rivers and St. Joseph County.
Three Rivers Superintendent Ron Moag said he is fortunate to have joined the district at such a luminous time for the community. Growing up in Grandville, Moag said he benefitted from athletic amenities such as the Field of Dreams, as he participated in the 1982 Big League World Series. “My vision for Three Rivers is pretty simple: the first choice for education in St. Joe County, and how do we get there? This is one step right here,” Moag said. “Thank you for having your kids involved in athletics because it’s important. I think that really shapes kids; their experiences with coaches go a long way.”
Doug Humbert, an AYSO board member, said he has been involved with the organization since his son was in kindergarten 10 years ago. The experience afforded Humbert the occasion to travel to other communities as part of weekend tournaments. He said it will be nice for Three Rivers and its businesses to be included in the circuit of communities that host such large-scale events.
Once developed, the facility’s main users will be AYSO soccer, which is made up of participants from Constantine, Centreville, White Pigeon and Mendon, along with the Three Rivers, Fabius, Park and Lockport entities; Three Rivers Rocket football; and Three Rivers Little League, which is comprised of baseball, softball and T-ball.
Thank you for joining us at the Capital Campaign Kickoff! We hope you enjoyed hearing more abot the Three Rivers Sports Complex, visiting the site, and envisioning the future with us. We are delighted to have had the opportunity to share with you the plans and the vision for the Field of Dreams! Over $839,300 has been committed to the project through your generous contributions and commitments.
Together, we can Build A Better Community!
Three Rivers officials, proponents of the city's multi-field sports complex and pickleball fans assembled Tuesday at Kline's Resort in Mendon Township for the announcement that Paul and Joyce Kline and Kline's Resort are offering a donation of over $40,000 to develop two pickleball courts at the Three Rivers development. (Jef Rietsma/Journal)
We are on our way to creating a beautiful space where our community can play together!