After an apparent move to change the lineup of the design team for a new downtown Birmingham Barons (Class AA; Southern League) ballpark, nothing will actually change — for now.
No one is really talking about why Mayor William Bell and his staff decided to remove Giattina Aycock Architecture Studio and Hoskins Architecture from the three-firm architectural team, which also includes HKS. When the city’s Budget and Finance Committee met yesterday, the chairman of the Public Athletic, Cultural and Entertainment Board — which is theoretically overseeing the ballpark project near downtown’s Railroad Park — said as far as he was concerned, things were status quo.
“As far as I’m concerned, as chairman of the board, there’s nothing on the table to change any agreement,” said Bob Jones.
Now, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a change in the future; it just means there’s not one at the present time — something Jones confirmed to the Birmingham News:
“As of right now there is no pending change to the architect team.”
Despite the drama, work on the ballpark proceeds: site prep is ongoing, and construction permits are on the way. Time is of the essence: all parties involved foresee a 2013 opening.
The $64-million ballpark and Negro Leagues museum will be located near downtown Birmingham at Railroad Park. Naming rights to the facility are carrying over from the Barons’ current home, Regions Park in suburban Hoover.
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