Biloxi baseball stadium on a fast track toward construction

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The baseball stadium project in Biloxi is on a fast track schedule. And those plans took another step forward on Wednesday when the project architect appeared before the city's development review committee.

"All right, let's look at Caillavet Park," said DRC Chairman Eric Nolan, "Proposed baseball stadium, parking garage."

Project architect Leigh Jaunsen presented the preliminary drawings, which include the ballpark, a parking garage and elevated walkway across Highway 90.

"What are your envisions for signage?" asked committee member Ed Shambra.

"Sort of as you walk by, in these little archways, there would be some advertising signs," the architect said, pointing to the rendering.

She admits the biggest challenge right now, may be the quick time frame.

"The construction schedule. It will be fast track. There could be a number of unknowns out there. So, we're always nervous about that. But so far, we've had a good meeting with our team members and we think we can get this done," said Jaunsen.

"And I'm just curious. There's no bleachers at all?" asked Shambra.

"No. It's all fixed seating."

One concern that will be addressed at the planning commission is trees. There are 30 trees on the ballpark site, and 20 or more will likely have to come down.

"I wish they'd save more. But that's a developer's choice. They're kind of limited on the width of that site, so I knew that was coming," said Chairman Nolan.

"The stadium is going where many of the trees are located. So, that's still an open question of which ones we can save, which ones we can move," said the architect.

No one is more excited about the baseball stadium plans than Biloxi's Barry Lyons. The former major league baseball player pitched the idea of a stadium years ago. He was at the DRC meeting and says he plans on following the progress of this project every step of the way.

"The steps are being taken to realize this dream," he said. "April of 2015, I can't wait to hear, 'Let's play ball!'"

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