By Miranda Anderson
All of the time, energy and money that is being put into the Fort Gibson sports complex is paying off.
Though possible flood concerns, name disagreements, and other complications have put some hitches in its progress, the complex has not been derailed.
“I just got an email from our engineer,” Town Administrator Cathy Carson said last week. “The irrigation lines are in, the complex concession is up, and the electrical work being done for it should be completed by Monday.
“Left to be done is the sprigging, the work on the inside of the concession building, the entry fence and having concrete put down.
“We’ve got the end of July as our completion of construction date. People still won’t be able to use the complex right at that point, but construction will be done.”
Volunteers from Renfro Electric have been helping the people of Fort Gibson to get the complex up and running.
“Renfro called me and asked if I could come out and do a little work,” said Ray Garner, an electrical foreman at Renfro.
“I asked my guys, my crew and told them I’ll pay everyone who would come out on their day off and work on the sports complex.
“They were all like, ‘shoot yeah, we’ll come out.’”
The people volunteering with Garner were Eric McCully, also a Cancer Society volunteer; Dominic Rollice; Raymond Morrison; Adam James, a fire department volunteer; and Paul Hoyler.
“We’re glad to do this, not just for the company but for anybody,” Garner said. “It’s pretty expensive to hire an electrician. I’ve got a great crew. We’re all brothers, we’re there for anybody, not just each other.
“I try to be the best foreman I can, not just a boss, but a doctor, a psychiatrist, anything I can be, because we all have problems.”
McCully is Garner’s second in command.
“I helped Morrison with putting up lights outside and running wire for all of that,” McCully said. “Some of our group was inside working on resets and lighting fixtures.
“Our company wanted us to get as much done as possible. We surprised them by getting almost all of it done in what little time we had.
“This crew is a good group of guys who know how to work with each other, and this was our chance to shine.”
McCully also volunteers for the Cancer Society and participated in the June 22 Relay for Life with his team, Warriors of Hope.
“I lost some of my family members to cancer,” he said. “During the race, the tiredness you feel at night is like the dragging down that a cancer patient goes through, and the morning is the dawning of hope.”
Garner also lost a family member to cancer.
“Cancer took my sister, and Eric was right there for me, calling and asking what he could do,” Garner said.
About the sports complex volunteering McCully said he was asked to volunteer at the sports complex and did.
“Wasn’t nothing, just the right thing,” he said.
“All of the volunteers were happy to come out and help,” said former Mayor Steven Hill. “They just said it was the right thing to do.”