Construction, Nonprofits, and Sports Business

Nate Hurwitz Field on deck at Art Van Sports Complex

May 13, 2013
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Art Van is newest philanthropist making a difference here
A rendering of the Art Van Sports Complex in Plainfield Township Courtesy West Michigan Sports Commission

The first step in making the Nate Hurwitz baseball field a reality takes place on Wednesday, when the West Michigan Miracle League holds a groundbreaking ceremony to honor the memory of the 16-year-old who loved the game.

The Nate Hurwitz Field is a specialized playing surface that will give disabled youth a chance to participate in what many still consider to be America’s pastime.

The Miracle Field, as it’s also known, is one of the dozen baseball and softball diamonds planned for the Art Van Sports Complex, on 10 Mile Road in Plainfield Township, which is being built by the West Michigan Sports Commission.

The custom-designed field is also one of hundreds of similar surfaces across the country.

Earlier this year, the WMML revealed its 18 month capital campaign had raised the necessary funds to go ahead with construction.

The Hurwitz and Berkowitz families, two well-known and respected names in the business community, donated $130,000 to the construction project.

The playing surface costs about $600,000 to build, and it features a rubberized turf that allows youth in wheelchairs and those who need walkers or other devices to play.

“The WMSC board and staff are very excited to feature a Miracle Field as part of the Art Van Sports Complex and to imagine what it will mean for hundreds of kids in West Michigan who otherwise may not have the access or opportunity to play baseball,” said Mike Guswiler, WMSC president.

Nate Hurwitz was a WMML board member and a junior at Forest Hills Eastern High School who suffered from a rare degenerative muscular disease. He died unexpectedly from an infection last September.

Dan Hurwitz, Nate’s father, will attend the groundbreaking event.

He will be joined by WMML President Tony Comden, WMSC Chairman and County Commissioner Dick Vander Molen and Art Van Furniture Vice President of Merchandising David VanElslander.

The event starts at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday.

The field’s first game is expected to be played in September.

Progressive AE designed the Art Van Sports Complex and Owen-Ames-Kimball is managing the construction.

The first phase of construction calls for eight of the 12 diamonds to built, including the Nate Hurwitz Field, at a cost of about $7.8 million.

The WMSC’s Everyone Wins capital campaign is still accepting contributions.

More information on the campaign can be found at everyonewinshere.org.

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