Sand Springs Community Continues To Rebuild After March Tornado

Thursday, August 20th 2015, 11:27 pm
By: News On 6

Nearly five months after a tornado touched down in Sand Springs, hundreds of young baseball players still need somewhere else to play, but the six fields will remain empty for a while longer.

The crumpled metal and broken tree branches are gone, but the park is far from ready to start having games again.

However, city park representatives said the community support and donations have been great and is sure when the park is back, it'll be better than before.

The baseball diamonds aren't ready yet for kids running the bases, hitting homers or families cheering in the stands after a March 25 tornado reduced the popular baseball park to rubble, ruining the season.

3/31/2015 Related Story: Communities Continue Cleanup Post Sand Springs Tornado

Park and recreation director Grant Geronadale said the city had insurance but it only covered about half of the $200,000 price tag for repairs.

"You can still see over there the fences are still kinda mangled," he said. "It picked up the aluminum bleachers that were stationary on the ground and it slammed them into the baseball backstops.

To help, a community build was created - meaning the community stepped forward with cash donations, equipment and discounts to help get the park to this point.

With more than 1,000 man hours, the parks department covered the work.

"The big news is these black poles just went up in the last week or so, thanks to some fantastic local welders with some great skills, and these guys just absolutely stepped up to the plate and, to cliché it, they knocked it out of the fence," Geronadale said.

Now that the backstops are up the rest of the work, like getting the fences removed, building a new dugout, planting grass and getting the bases back where they belong, can begin.

Resident Robyn Caseboldt said, "Yes they do need it, because there are a lot of baseball teams I heard that had to go to other little towns and surrounding towns to play baseball and that was a far drive for them."

While many kids and families have made due with other sports, like basketball, it'll be nice for the kids to be able to move from the court back to the field.

People who live in Sand Springs said the city is all about the community coming together to help each other.

The way things are going, the park should be back open sometime next year.