- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 28, 2014

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - Architects have told the Biloxi City Council site work for the city’s minor league baseball stadium will be done and a general contractor could start building July 21.

“That’s making it work quickly, to get it July 21. So, if we have an awardable bid by July 9, we should be able to do that,” Leigh Jaunsen with Dale Partners Architects told council members Tuesday.

If all goes as planned, construction could officially begin at the end of July on the site where prep work has been taking place for weeks. But, that means an extended completion date.

“We anticipate a substantial completion date of May 17, 2015,” said Jaunsen.

Jaunsen said the city will start advertising for bids June 5 and bid packages from general contractors are due July 9.

The bid will be for a 10-month completion, with a 12-month option. Jaunsen said that will determine if the city will pay more for speeding up the project or for paying the penalty for not having the stadium done on time for next year’s baseball stadium.

The agreement calls for the city to pay a $10,000 penalty for each home game that can’t be played in the 2015 season.

The city had expected to start work after a deal for the team was finalized in October or November. But the Huntsville (Alabama) Stars AA team’s move was not completed until January. The Huntsville Stars AA is scheduled to start play in Biloxi in April 2015.

The city broke ground Jan. 23 on the $36 million MGM Park.

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