Picking up the pieces
Sports complex construction resumes
By STU MERRY
A new Garrison Sports Complex at Ray Field has begun rising from the rubble.
With the framework for the structure in place, ready for sheeting to be applied, Mother Nature laid waste to the building Tuesday evening, July 28.
According to the National Weather Service in Bismarck, winds in Garrison were the highest recorded in the state at 76 mph. That peak gust was at 7:58 p.m. But enduring continuous high wind throughout the day, the structure succumbed to the gusts at about 6:50 p.m.
It was a blow to those who have worked hard to see the facility become a reality. Football season begins in four weeks, with the first home game set for Sept. 11.
GHS Athletic Director Jason Ermer is spearheading the effort. He said his first thoughts after hearing of the collapse was hoping no one was around the building when it fell. He said he immediately went to assess the damage.
The task of rebuilding is underway. Undaunted, the contractor, JM Construction, Garrison, began reclaiming what was salvageable the following day. The spirit of community volunteerism came out this past Thursday evening as more than 20 individuals with hammers, pry bars and saws salvaged the remaining material. Material that is unusable has been reordered. Some of the unusable material received interest and was sold. Ermer said he’s touched by the response in the aftermath.
"I was glad to see so many people show up and help salvage what we could from the collapsed structure," Ermer said. "It sort of reminded me of the barn-raisings I talk about in history class."