Sand Springs Ball Fields Finish Rebuilding Process After 2015 Tornado

Saturday, March 26th 2016, 11:33 am

One tornado rebuilding project wrapped up on Friday.

A 2015 tornado went right through the Sand Springs baseball complex, right at the start of the season.

The cleanup started the next day, but rebuilding took the full year.

One year ago, Steve Steelman couldn't imagine how thoroughly ballfields could be wiped out by a tornado -- or how much the community would do to rebuild them.

"It was a blessing in disguise,” Steelman said. “We were in an old dilapidated ballpark that needed a lot of help and once the tornado hit, a lot of people, I don't know if they felt sorry for us or what, but we had a great group effort, a community effort."

The tornado left a tangled mess of fencing, power poles and tree limbs.

The city had some money to rebuild but not nearly enough to do all this.

"We probably built around a $300- or $400,000 baseball complex with $100,000,” Jeff Edwards said.

The backstops, the pitcher’s mounds and the bases, the dugouts, the lights, the bleachers -- everything is brand new, except for the few things salvaged after the tornado.

At the entrance, there's a kiosk that explains what happened during the tornado and what happened after.

Volunteers did much of the work to rebuild, working with donated materials.

It took a full year to plan and build all three fields, but they're done just in time.

Edwards is proud of his team, especially of the work they put into creating a concrete baseball 28-feet across.

He thinks it could be the biggest one in Oklahoma.

Steelman and his teams are ready to play ball.

"I couldn't be any prouder of it,” he said. “The city parks department did a great job."

There's an open house and practice games at the ball fields on Saturday from 9-3 Monday night hosts the first official games of the season.