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  • 815 South Utica Avenue, Tulsa, OK 74104
  • 918.584.8607
  • 815 South Utica Avenue, Tulsa, OK
  • 918.584.8607

Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges set for expansion

Ground-breaking set for adaptive sports complex

Torrel Miles went to sleep in the passenger seat of a car as an able-bodied young man in his mid-20s.

He woke up paralyzed from the waist down.

Miles vividly remembers the moments immediately following the crash on Sept. 28, 2013.

“I knew that instant my legs were paralyzed. It was surreal,” he said.

He remembers the gurney, the intensive care unit and when doctors told his parents he wouldn’t walk again.

He also remembers being angry, blaming anyone he could for what happened.

Now, more than three years later, he prefers to focus on how his life has changed for the better.

“After the injury, a fire was lit under me to experience life to the fullest,” Miles said. “A traumatic experience reminds you that … we can go at any minute, so we have to taste life as much and as richly as we can.”

Miles is an active member at the Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges, where he is on a wheelchair basketball team and plays wheelchair rugby, tennis and softball.

“It keeps me focused on the positivity and the excitement that life can bring and keeps me from dwelling on what happened to me,” he said.

The center is set to begin construction on an expansion project that will nearly double its campus and create additional recreation and athletic opportunities for its members.

It’s breaking ground Thursday on the Hardesty Family Adaptive Sports Complex, a 28,000-square-foot facility on the northeast corner of 11th Street and Utica Avenue.

The new complex, planned to open in the summer of 2018, is being funded by a $12 million capital campaign. Already, $10.7 million has been raised. Contribute here.

The two-story facility will feature an NCAA regulation basketball court, elevated walking trail, resistance therapy pool and adaptive rock-climbing wall.

The new complex will connect to the center’s current facility at 815 S. Utica Ave. by an enclosed corridor that will run parallel to Utica Avenue.

The design will provide for a stronger curb presence, and the additional space will allow the center to host regional and national adaptive sports tournaments, said Lori Long, the agency’s executive director.

“Being a Paralympic sports club and the opportunities that lie ahead in that arena are very attractive,” she said.

“We’re always going to the other communities. My question was, ‘Why aren’t we hosting these tournaments in Tulsa?’”

The complex will also feature a wheelchair-accessible rooftop terrace, community space and additional office space.

The grounds of the campus will be updated to include an outdoor multi-sport court, walking trail, water feature, raised horticultural beds and a monarch butterfly garden.

The center’s membership — people 18 and older with a primary diagnosis of mobility, dexterity or sensory impairment — has grown 60 percent since it built its current 35,000-square-foot facility in 2005.

The additional space will allow the center to not only enhance opportunities for members, but also to create them for younger populations.

“There’s a huge gap in services for children and youths with disabilities,” Long said. “This is an opportunity to bring kids together for adaptive opportunities that are enhancing their educational opportunities that they don’t get in school.”

See full article here

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