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T-Mobile Employees Help Renovate Springfield After School Center

The weather was just right Thursday for the 150 T-Mobile employees who helped renovate an after-school space at the Salvation Army Community Center in Springfield. KSMU's Benjamin Fry visited with the builders, painters, and landscapers and has our story.

The cement is stirred up before being slapped on and smoothed out on a brick foundation.

This outdoor grill is being built by a handful of T-Mobile employees including Armando Lara.

"I wanted to change things up a bit, try something different, help the community"

Across the field, a mower circumnavigates a lane of newly packed dirt in the familiar shape of a baseball diamond.

Joe Pickens, who is helping shape the pitchers mound, says he's enjoying his day helping.

"It's where every true American boy belongs, on the baseball diamond, so I guess I'm at home right here. It's been fun working side by side with your bosses, watching them shovel dirt"

Construction of a brand new baseball diamond was just one of the projects during T-Mobile Huddle Up Day at the Salvation Army Community Center in Springfield.

Throughout the day, 150 local employees of the cell phone provider worked to renovate the building which serves as an after school space.

Updates inside the building included repainting classrooms and creating murals in the hallways.

Around noon, volunteers took time off to have lunch in the center's basketball court.

Kate Kussin is with Cone, a partner agency with T-Mobile that has helped coordinate Huddle Up in other cities.

She says the event met enthusiasm with Springfield employees. This is the third year Huddle Up has taken place in high-need urban communities across the nation, and Springfield seemed to fit the mold.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city is over 15 percent below the poverty level.

Pegg Myers is the director of the Salvation Army Community Center.

She explains the role the center plays in helping parents who are working to better themselves financially.

And those who worked to give this place an extreme makeover decided to make the experience even more special.

They took it upon themselves to raise an extra five thousand dollars for equipment to go into a game room in the community center.

For KSMU news, I'm Benjamin Fry.