Summarized by Rosemary Pollock
LDS Church Volunteers Constructing Springville 'Field Of Dreams
Deseret News 16Mar00 S1
By Jim Rayburn: Deseret News staff writer
SPRINGVILLE, UTAH -- If you closely at the middle of a prime piece of
farmland at about 500 South and 900 West in Springville, Utah you
will see volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints working full time on a church version of the popular movie
"Field of Dreams." With a due date of late summer, every effort is
being made to convert this prime piece of farmland in the southwest
part of town into a four-diamond complex, complete with a central
structure for score keeping, announcer, restroom and snack-bar.
"We hope to have it going for the late summer season," said David
Hullinger, a counselor in the Hobble Creek Stake. However, it will
not be so much a case of "if you build it they will come" but, "if
you build it they will play again and again." For decades, church
softball was a big Springville community activity. It was a place
where families gathered on summer nights to watch husbands and
fathers work off their competitive energy.
Over the past few months volunteers have installed backstops and
fencing for the four diamonds. Red soil is being hauled in for the
outfields and work is being installed on a sprinkler and lighting
system. Work will begin soon on planting the outfield grass.
Several years ago church officials sold Kolob baseball park, adjacent
to Hobble Creek near 500 South and 600 East, to the city and
constructed a ball diamond near a church at 2000 East Canyon Road.
That park was sold three years ago with the intention of using the
proceeds to build a larger, multi-diamond ball park. Building that
facility has taken longer than anticipated. Construction could not
begin because a well on the land was not producing a sufficient
amount of water for a sprinkling system. Finally, last summer the
water issue was resolved and construction began.
When the facility is complete, softball leagues from five Springville
stakes will keep the diamonds occupied through much of the summer.
"In season, the church will use it to its' capacity," Hullinger said.
The church hopes to restore a softball program that once thrived in
the community. Springville, like most Utah cities, has been on a
tight schedule to provide diamond space for the many baseball and
softball leagues it run for games and practice schedules. A few
years ago the city opened three new ball diamonds at Bird Park
adjacent to Springville High School.
City officials hope to work out a joint-use agreement with the church
that will allow city teams to use the ball diamonds in exchange for
maintenance of the park. "We would like to enter into that kind of
an agreement and certainly want to be a good partner," City Manager
Cameron Gunter said. The location of the complex may be a concern
for younger leagues until work is completed to widen and improve the
west section of 400 South.