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New Marshall University Ballpark Delayed

New Marshall Ballpark rendering October 2019

The schedule for completing a new Marshall University ballpark is delayed, as university officials adjust the plans after initial construction bids were higher than anticipated. 

Marshall has been working to complete its plans for a new baseball facility, which is to be constructed at the 8-acre the Flint Group Pigments Plant property in Huntington, WV’s Highlawn neighborhood. Throughout the planning process, the athletic department has expected that the ballpark could be completed by March 2021.

That timeline has hit a snag, however, as bids for the project were put out in December and came back around $28 million, exceeding the initial estimate of $18-$20 million. Challenges with the site were apparently a factor in the higher bids, so the athletic department has decided to handle some of those issues before reopening bids on the project, according to an update athletic director Mike Hamrick provided to a board of governors committee Wednesday. This process will push back the scheduled completion date for the ballpark, though Marshall has not yet determined a new estimated opening date. More from The Herald-Dispatch:

The bids for construction of the project were put out in December and came back higher than what the athletic department was comfortable with — about $28 million. The original estimate was between $18 million and $20 million.

The former industrial site along 5th Avenue needs water and sewer lines, along with some utility lines that will need to be relocated. The athletic department is working to address those issues itself before putting the project back out to bid, which Hamrick expects will happen in the spring.

“We are able to move forward on some things because (the Huntington Municipal Development Authority) just purchased the ACF property that allows us a right of way now to continue to work on relocating all those utilities,” Hamrick said. “We are moving full-speed ahead and we hope in the near future to have the project value engineered, have all the utility and site problems resolved and get it back out to bid.”

The completion date was originally set for March 2021, but Hamrick said it’s too early to give a new estimate for completion.

Plans call for the ballpark to feature an artifcial turf playing surface, along with baseball program amenities that include two batting cages, three locker rooms, and a lounge. It is expected to seat 3,000, with that figure expandable to 3,500 for postseason play.

Renderings courtesy Marshall University and AECOM. 

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