As workers methodically and swiftly lay down the hexagonal rubber-pellet blocks the painting crews were preparing to paint the in-field of the new Miracle League Baseball Diamond at Frank Brown Park in Panama City Beach. The field is expected to be complete by the end of the day tomorrow.
The field has been under construction for a few months now with the asphalt paving having gone down about 30 days ago. Late last week crews began putting down the rubber blocks, one piece at a time. The entire field is comprised of 30,000 blocks covering 15,000 square feet. The pavers are made of recycled rubber from tires and other disposed rubber products. The garbage rubber is ground into small pellets, cleaned and compressed into a form and held together by an environmentally friendly bond.
Every ten feet, a row is glued down to prevent shifting, but all the others are free floating so as to ease repair or replacement over the years. “We guarantee our surfaces for 5 years, but we have some that are 10 year old that still look fine,” said Jose Rodriguez, Director of Sales and Business Development for Sofscape, the company that is installing the field. “In five years, if the paint begins to fade, you just repaint it and you have a new field.”
As of this post, they had the template forms down for painting the infield. When complete, it will look like a regular baseball diamond with the bases painted on. The entire surface will be flat so as to allow kids in wheelchairs to be able to roll around the bases. If the wind stays down like it was when I was up there, they’ll paint this morning.
As I was leaving, I was talking to Jeanie Quave, the Broker at Edgewater Beach Realty, and we were discussing all the great memories this field will be home to. Many kids will have an opportunity here that they did not have before, and the new field will be home to many great memories for these kids and their families for the rest of their lives. I think it is great the positive impact that this will have on the community, and I commend all those that were involved in making this happen.
On a side note, Jeanie was saying that they still need someone to donate a flag pole and flag, so if there is anyone that is willing and able to do so, please help.