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Five-year-old Jodeci Cassias watches his grandfather Delroy Manuel sign his name on the Colorado Rockies beam before it was finally placed on their clubhouse. Photo by Richie Corrales

Topping-Out Ceremony Signifies an On-Track Project for Salt River Fields

By Jennifer Hernandez
Au-Authm Action News

In a topping-out ceremony, the final two beams of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies clubhouses were hoisted up at 9 a.m. on July 23 at Salt River Fields. Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members, dignitaries, as well as employees representing the Diamondbacks and Rockies put their signatures on the beams, which were also marked with each team’s logo.

The beams were hoisted by a giant crane, first on the Diamondbacks side, then on the Rockies side. The United States and SRPMIC flags were placed atop the beam, along with an evergreen tree.

A Mortenson Construction employee said the topping out event is a major achievement signifying the facility is one step closer to opening for the 2011 spring training season.

SRPMIC President Diane Enos spoke prior to the ceremony. She said the Salt River Fields project is all about employment.

“This project is about employment now and in the future for our people and those in neighboring communities who are capable and can deliver the best work possible,” she said. “This is for our children and our children’s children, as well as all the people in our tribe.”

She went on to acknowledge those who have been working on the facility and said putting the final pieces of steel on the clubhouses means it is the beginning of the final steps of the beautiful facility.

“It is because of folks like you (speaking about companies involved in the build) and the partnership that demonstrates anything can be done if people are willing to put their hands and minds together to work on something that stands for the future. My hat is off to all the construction people,” Enos said.

Derrick Hall, president and CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks, was present for the ceremony and described the uniqueness of the facility and the surrounding area. Hall expressed how the project would not have been possible without partnership, just as President Enos stated. He applauded Mortenson for staying on track.

“This project is going to put Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the Diamondbacks and Rockies on the map,” he said. “We cannot wait for this facility to open to see players, and most importantly fans interacting with the teams. This is like the Disneyland of spring training facilities. We are all blessed to be here today.”

SRPMIC Vice-President Martin Harvier said when he first heard of the project, he knew the Community had hit a home run.

“We are rounding second base now and heading to third. There has been a lot of work going on here and we thank everyone involved,” he said. “This is very exciting for our Community.”

With only 176 days left until the project is set to be complete, it won’t be long before the teams will be ready to play ball.

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