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Draft of follow-up stadium study sent to Hagerstown for review

Ripken Design completed the feasibility study for the city's previously considered downtown stadium site

April 03, 2013

A draft of the follow-up study that looks at the economic feasibility of two additional sites for a new ballpark for the Hagerstown Suns has been sent to the city for review, a Ripken Design official said Wednesday afternoon.

Dan Taylor, project manager with Ripken Design, said a copy of the report was delivered to Jill Estavillo, the city’s economic development manager.

Taylor said he expects the city to review the draft over the next “week or two” and then report back to the firm with any requested revisions or changes.

Estavillo did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment.

Ripken Design completed the feasibility study for the city’s previously considered downtown stadium site.

On Feb. 12, the Hagerstown City Council voted to award a $11,250 contract to the Baltimore-based design firm to study two additional sites for a ballpark — Municipal Stadium’s current site and surrounding areas as well as the former Washington County Hospital site, all in the city’s East End.

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Ripken officials then projected a turnaround time of 30 to 45 days to finish the report for the city, according to a memo to the five-member council.

The information in the new report will be used to compare the two additional sites to the downtown proposal from last year.

According to Ripken Design’s proposal, the report would take into account existing site conditions around each of the two additional sites and then provide an analysis of the economic impact on the surrounding areas if a stadium were to be built.

Suns officials have rejected Municipal Stadium’s current site as a viable option for the future due to various site constraints, flooding and outdated facilities at the 82-year-old ballpark.

Majority owner Bruce Quinn has told city officials that he needs a resolution to the club’s stadium search in place by the start of the 2013 baseball season, which begins Thursday on the road against the Delmarva Shorebirds. The home opener is April 11.

Several phone and email messages seeking comment from Quinn were not returned as of Wednesday night.

During the offseason, the Suns, a low-level Class A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, had their player-development contract with the big league club renewed through 2014.

— C.J. Lovelace

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