Throwing shade: Grass Valley’s Condon Park gets new, donated shade structure
As the mother of three baseball players, Leah DeLira spends a lot of time in the bleachers of Condon Park.
As the summer heat sets in, she and her family have had to resort to great lengths to stay cool in the sunlight that coats the field for much of the day.
“Last year we went to Hawaii for a week and didn’t get any sunburns,” said DeLira. “Then we came back and spent a day at the park and were pink immediately.”
“It’s a great park and they did so much work on the junior field with redoing the bleachers. But past a certain point in the season, if you forget your umbrella it’s brutal. We’d be there for back-to-back games in the middle of the day and it’s almost unbearable to sit there.”
For years now, parents and Little League fans have done what they can to stay cool while at games, which inspired Grass Valley Little League President Jeff Nye to do something to help.
About a year ago, Nye began putting together plans for a shade structure to be constructed over the majority of the bleachers at the park’s junior field.
Much to Nye’s delight, a number of local businesses offered to donate time and materials to make the structure a reality.
Nye also works in inside sales at Caseywood Corporation, which agreed to donate wood and steel to the project. Harding Custom Builders are donating labor while GroTech, Hansen Brothers, and Cody’s Concrete Pumping have given time and materials to the structure. Linchpin worked on the structural engineering, and Newman Welding used their skills to construct the metal used in the project.
Nye estimated if the league were to pay for the construction of the shade structure, they’d likely be looking at a bill for $20,000 to $30,000.
He also said that Grass Valley Little League has put about $40,000-$60,000 worth of work into the fields they call home. The funds were raised through the efforts of its Hit-a-thon, Spaghetti Feed, and other benefits held throughout the year.
Construction on the shade structure began in recent weeks. This past Wednesday, concrete piers were poured and in coming days steel posts and a canopy will be added. Nye said he hopes that construction would be complete by the end of next week.
“It’s for the community and for all the kids and parents in the league,” said Nye. “It’s something we’ve worked hard to do. We hope it will make the parents and fans a little happier and more comfortable.”
DeLira, for one, said she is ecstatic about the shade structure and thinks other spectators will be too.
“I think we might throw a party under there,” she said with a laugh. “Everybody’s really excited. I would (sit in the heat) anyway because I love my boys, but yeah. We’re really excited.”
Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-477-4231.
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