Wednesday, June 8, 2011
SAND SPRINGS,Okla. - Land that's been abandoned for years in Sand Springs is undergoing a transformation and new jobs will come with it.
The old Hissom Memorial Center off of Highway 51 will soon be home to Webco Industries, a tubing manufacturer and supplier.
Since the Hissom Memorial Center closed years ago, dozens of buildings have sat empty, slowly falling apart.
"It was kind of a blight. I drive by this everyday going home," said Mary Eubanks, Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce president. "And you'd think, 'oh why can we not do something with that?' It's a shame the buildings are falling down."
But now, crews are busy demolishing buildings and getting ready for new construction.
"So it's really great to see that something nice is going to be here. When people drive by, instead of going, 'oh my gosh, they're going to go, oh look at that, how neat is that,'" Eubanks said.
Webco Industries is expanding, and bringing dozens of more jobs to the city.
"Sand Springs lost a lot of jobs with the closing of Sheffield facilty, so I think anytime you're able to spend money locally, create jobs locally, it's a win-win for everybody," said Mike Howard, chief financial officer of Webco Industries.
Positions will range from engineers to mechanics and operators. The company hopes to expand in the future, and possibly add more jobs.
For the community, it was a day of new beginnings. Governor Mary Fallin hailed Tuesday's groundbreaking as a positive sign.
"Today we're announcing jobs, and that's very important to Oklahoma's economic recovery, is creating jobs, creating the right business atmosphere, to not only retain jobs, but to grow jobs," Fallin said.
She hopes these new jobs will have a ripple effect on the economy.
"These jobs created here today will be for the surrounding communities, not just here in Sand Springs. But people will draw from all over this area to work," Fallin said.
Sand Springs' Rader Center sits next door and is slated to close soon. Officials hope they'll be able to re-develop it, so it won't sit abandoned for years like its neighboring property.
By: Sara Goldenberg, KJRH Channel 2