Members of a U.S. Army Reserve unit based in the Quad-Cities honed their skills Sunday helping to ensure future baseball players at Davenport’s Northwest Park will get shade.
Staff Sgt. Tyler Goodman of the 389th Engineer Company said one of the park’s original baseball dugouts was overturned by a severe storm.
“That canoe actually completely collapsed,” he said. “It was a total loss.”
The company has been looking for projects to help its soldiers practice their skills, he said.
“That way, when we deploy, we’re better equipped to handle any task that comes our way,” Goodman said.
So Davenport and the military are working together to build the new dugout, he said.
Sunday’s project team consisted of seven or eight company members, including Goodman.
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Some of the soldiers spent most of their time on ladders, working on the roof of the baseball dugout, their bodies piercing through the wooden frame or perching outside near its edge.
Others were nearby, working on the fence that would also be part of the new structure. The hatched frame lay on the grass as they worked to fasten the boards together.
The breathless stutter of drills joined the scraping of ladder feet on concrete, the thump of wood shifting, and the mix of pop and country playing on the nearby radio.
SPC. Adam Bristow was one of the soldiers working on the roof, dividing his efforts between the ladders and the ground.
He prepared the sheets of wood his fellow soldiers needed to cover the roof frame, measuring and cutting as needed, then putting them back on before joining in the placement.
Bristow, 31, said he had been in the Army Reserve for 11 years but had recently transferred to the company.
He said he liked working on a local project.
“This is the first real big project I’ve done with these guys,” Bristow said. “I love doing this stuff. I grew up doing this stuff with my dad.