RIVERTON — As baseball fields are torn up and 1,700 players are left without a place to pay, parents and baseball players say the City of Riverton has kept them out of the loop.
The demolition started last Friday; six baseball diamonds, home to well over 100 teams, are being torn to shreds. Coaches and parents both say this was set to happen in August and they were supposed to get their chance to speak against it.
"It's what we do," said Candice Vansickle, a baseball mom whose family is affected by the demolition. "We're all just baseball fanatics. All of the moms, the parents, our life revolves around this."
Vansickle's husband coaches and her sons play.
"It's my my favorite sport," said her son, Bryson Vansickle.
Many parents and players were hoping to put a stop to the demolitions and didn't expect them to move forward for at least another month.
"My son cried all day long," said Teveka Melanson, another mom to a player. "This is where he practices with his friends. This is where my whole family comes ona regular basis to bond and enjoy a great past time."
Utah Select Baseball said they were told public comment on these plans would be taken at a meeting next week. Instead, demolition started Friday.
"They weren't supposed to be touched until Aug. 15," said Bob Melanson. "Me and my son came here all the time to pitch, to play."
The demolition is part of a total renovation project of the Riverton Main Park. The city has set a goal of opening the park in time for 2015 Riverton Town Days for the city's 150-year anniversary, according to a statement released by the city.
The city also said the public has opportunities to give input on the park renovation, citing four meetings in 2011, three updates and a presentation given in 2012 and three other meetings in 2013.
"Six ball diamonds were created with the construction of the C.R. Hamilton Sports Complex in 2010, fully replacing the ball diamonds in the Main Park renovation," the statement read.
The statement said renovation will continue as scheduled to meet its 2015 goal.
Contributing: Cait Orton