Council gets briefing on stadium progress

A representative of W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Co. told members of the Biloxi City Council this afternoon that construction is on schedule for the downtown baseball stadium and adjoining parking garage, but council members hope the field is ready for play before the expected completion of the first week in August of next year.

Yates was given the green light to begin construction on its 365-day contract on Aug. 4, and Yates construction manager Jason Wold says completion is expected to be the first week of August 2015, three-quarters of the way into the Southern League baseball season. The city faces a $10,000 fine for each home game missed.

“We understand that,” Wold said, noting that the city opted for a 365-day contract instead of a 300-day contract to keep the $36 million project within budget. Originally, he said, when Yates was the stadium’s construction manager, the company believed construction of the stadium and adjoining parking garage was a 14-month task, “so 12 months is pretty compressed.”

Added Wold: “Obviously, we’re going to try to do the best we can and if we can bring it in early, we will. But at this point it’s very early in the process, and the best we can do is forecast and that’s 12 months.”

“Yea,” Councilman George Lawrence said, “and that’s if everything goes perfect.”

Council President Kenny Glavan noted that the field could be ready to play and games could be hosted before the entire project is completed.

“It could be,” Wold said, “and that would come down to the definition of what the team would need to play and what ancillary items wouldn’t necessarily have to be 100 percent complete.”

Among the milestones Wold outlined this afternoon: Structural steel will begin going up in mid- to late October. Pre-cast concrete will begin appearing on the Beau Rivage employee parking garage in November, and pre-cast concrete will begin appearing on the stadium itself near the beginning of the year.
 See photos from today’s council meeting