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Play Ball: GBRC board tours GB Sports Complex
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Staff and commissioners of the Great Bend Recreation Commission tour the new Great Bend Sports Complex, Monday afternoon. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Great Bend Recreation Commission Board members took a tour of the new Great Bend Sports Complex on Monday. The ball diamonds and facilities are in use now, with a May 8 grand opening planned by the city.
GBRC Executive Director Diann Henderson explained the Rec Commission’s role in a partnership that includes the City of Great Bend and Unified School District 428. GBRC Program Director Chris Umphres will coordinate the master schedule and is the public’s contact for answering questions or making reservations. He can be reached at the GBRC office, 620-793-3755, ext. 2.
Vehicles enter the Sports Complex at Second and McKinley Street. Langrehr Memorial Field is located on Second Street, and the complex is located west of that. There are four fields, and three of those have dirt infields so they may be used for either baseball or softball, Henderson said. The fourth field is a grass baseball diamond.
There are lights, bleachers and places for chairs, along with picnics tables. At the hub of the four fields is a building that features a concession area, restrooms, Great Bend High School boys and girls locker rooms, and a meeting room that doubles as the emergency medical station.
Umphres said he plans to put as many teams as possible on the new fields, so everyone should get a chance to try it out this year. But youth and adult games are always scheduled separately, even if that leaves a field “empty,” he said.
Monday was the GBRC Board’s monthly business meeting, and the board approved renewing the employees’ comprehensive major medical insurance through Blue Cross and Blue Shield for another year. Henderson said that based on claims for the last three years the cost of insurance will increase by 7.6 percent. However, employees are offered three options, so they can tailor their insurance around family size and the size of their deductible. If employees stick with the same options next year, the overall cost should decrease by 2 percent.
Board members heard program directors’ reports on programs for special populations, senior citizens, leisure activities and sports, and learned that 15 participants attended lifeguard class for recertification in March.
For the month of March, Henderson said there were 4,124 people enrolled in programs and activities. There were 18,390 participants, of which 9,022 were spectators, and GBRC offered 1,035 hours of supervised activities.