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Putnam County Bank Sports Complex Opens at Hurricane Bridge Park

Putnam County Bank CEO John Wilson addresses the large crowd at the ribbon cutting ceremony at Hurricane Bridge Park.

Friday, May 31, was a big day for Hurricane’s Bridge Park as the Putnam County Bank Sports Complex marked its opening with a ribbon cutting. The complex features a central concession stand with restrooms and a press box surrounded by four all-weather turf baseball fields.

The need for such a facility has long been evident. Ball field use at City Park at the Hurricane Reservoir reached capacity years ago. Hurricane Mayor Scott Edwards said that city officials knew the need twenty years ago but lacked the resources to provide a remedy.
The city took the first step to cure overcrowding in 2015 by purchasing 42 acres which stretched from Midland Trail near Hurricane Middle School to the creek behind First Baptist Church on Main Street. The 42 acres was hardly ideal. It was divided into two sections by Big Hurricane Creek.

The city chose to develop the section near Midland Trail because of easy access. Development of the upper section near First Baptist was put on hold. City planners determined that access from Main Street was an absolute necessity. Rights-of-way, a new road and a bridge over the creek behind the church would be costly but necessary bumps in the road.

The city employed GAI Consultants to submit park designs. In 2021, the city purchased an additional 23 acres making it necessary for GAI to start over. The additional acreage made a full cloverleaf of fields possible.

Funding for development became possible by including the park in the Hurricane TIF district (tax incentive financing district). With funding, the project accelerated.

Putnam County Bank provided the boost needed to finish construction of the central concession/press box/restroom building. Supporting area youth has always been part of Putnam County Bank’s mission of giving back to the community. The bank has a long record of supporting county youth by purchasing animals at the Putnam County Fair 4-H livestock auction.
Bank CEO John Wilson addressed the proceeding and officially open the facility by throwing out the first pitch with Mayor Scott Edwards on the receiving end.

Prior to the ribbon cutting, Edwards, State Senator Eric Tarr, County Commissioner Brian Ellis, and Hurricane City Manager Andy Skidmore addressed the crowd which included members of the Hurricane Street Department. Street Department Head Jonathan Gillispie was given to honor of severing the ribbon in recognition of his efforts to speed the way for contractors.

The clover leaf design allows for press box viewing from a single location. The infields of each field is artificial turf which allows for play during periods of light rain.
Street Department Head Jonathan Gillispie was given to honor of severing the ribbon.
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