Polk County awards grant funding to Sam Wise Youth Complex

Altoona’s Sam Wise Youth Complex hosts dozens of games and tournaments for youth softball and baseball every year, bringing tens of thousands of visitors and fans to the community. Now, thanks to grant funding provided through a Polk County Community Development Grant, the City of Altoona can finalize phase three of four in a multi-year effort to update the fields and facilities at Sam Wise. The Polk County Board of Supervisors approved more than $56,000.00 in grant funding for the project at its meeting on Tuesday, June 18, 2024.

About the Project
Phase 3 work at Sam Wise Park involves renovating two softball fields, used by the Greater Altoona Girls Softball Association (GAGSA), and two baseball fields used by SEP Little League. This work includes:

  • Replacing fencing at the fields with black, vinyl-coated fencing that is taller to provide additional safety for spectators.
  • Replacing concrete pads for bleachers and dugouts and connecting walkways at the fields to existing paths in the park.
  • Installing new roofs for dugouts.
  • Removing the material in the infield and installing drainage tiles to improve how quickly fields dry following a rain event. The removed material will be reset, and additional new field lime will be laid.

Sam Wise Youth Complex was first built in the early 1980s, and the city’s efforts to replace and renovate the park through its multi-year phased plan is revitalizing the park and benefitting area residents and youth sports enthusiasts who use the park’s fields.

Polk County Supervisor Steve Van Oort said, “I have always been proud to support Altoona. Through countless grants Polk County has assisted in economic development, human services and quality of life initiatives. Investing in our communities, including Altoona, has been one of my top priorities since I have been on the Board of Supervisors and am proud of the work we have done on behalf of this growing community.”

By providing the city with grant funding for this project, Polk County is enabling Altoona to re-allocate saved funds into future phases of the project, including plans to renovate playground space and add safety features for park patrons to utilize if needed. Funds could also be re-allocated into projects at one of Altoona’s many other parks, benefiting the more than 22,000 residents who call the city home.