Dubuque City Council approves plans for Miracle League Field - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque City Council approves plans for Miracle League Field

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

A big win for kids with disabilities Monday night.

The Dubuque City Council approved site plans for a Miracle League field at Veteran's Memorial Park.

The field is completely flat and made of rubber, and aims to include kids with any type of disability.

The Dubuque Community School District says nearly 1,700 children in the school system have been diagnosed with some type of disability. The Miracle League of Dubuque estimates that number is more than 4,000 when you include the surrounding areas.

"We know that there's a huge need. We've done our research and we know that there are many, many children in the region that would benefit from this facility," said Merle Santjer, president of the Miracle League of Dubuque Board of Directors.

Marie Ware, leisure services manager, says they've been working closely with Santjer and the board to find the best spot for the field.

She says Veteran's Memorial Park is the perfect spot.

 "They also wanted it to be near other baseball and softball activities, so this is a really great park for that," she said.

To make room for that field, one of the largest fields the city operates will have to be removed, and flipped to a different part of the park.

But Ware says the approved plans don't take away any usage at the park.

"The great thing is we're just able to accommodate better a whole let of users that we haven't had here before," said Ware.

Plans also include an all-inclusive playground as well as a new concessions area.

In all, the project will cost about $3.5 million, which will be paid for with private fundraising.  They've already received a $500,000 gift that they must match.

Santjer says they hope to start construction by the end of this year and start playing baseball there by the fall of 2018.

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