Sholten Singer/The Herald-Dispatch Rendering of the future Marshall Baseball Stadium seen during an announcement of the purchase of the property for the stadium on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, along 24th Street between 4th and 5th Avenues in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON - Members of the Huntington Municipal Development Authority agreed Monday to sell the future site of the Marshall University baseball stadium to the university.

Members of the Huntington Municipal Development Authority, or HMDA, were previously undecided about what to do with the two properties, which consisted of a warehouse and parking lot of the former Flint Group Pigments. They had considered donating the properties to the university or retaining ownership of it in a public-private partnership.

Following an executive session Monday, HMDA members agreed to sell the two properties to the university for $468,000.

HMDA members purchased the properties in February for $750,000, which is part of a larger plan to redevelop underused industrial properties in that area. That purchase was made possible with $500,000 won by Huntington in the 2017 America's Best Communities competition and the remaining $250,000 from the HDMA.

University officials and HMDA members joined together in a Feb. 21 press conference to announce the future site of the university's 3,500-seat ballpark. The stadium, which is estimated to cost up to $22 million, has been a goal for the city and university for many years.

The stadium's construction is slated to be placed out for bid by November 2019 with ground breaking by March 2020. It is estimated to take up to 12 months to construct with a goal of playing the first game there by March 2021.

Fundraising for the project is still underway. Things are "going well," but it's still too early to talk about how much money has been raised, said Jason Corriher, assistant athletic director for media relations, in an email.

Marshall currently plays at George T. Smailes Field at the Huntington YMCA Kennedy Center on W.Va. 2, about seven miles from campus. For the last 13 seasons, the Thundering Herd played Conference USA home games at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston and Linda K. Epling Stadium in Beckley.

Also during Monday's meeting, HMDA members heard from Peter Potesta, staff engineer with Potesta & Associates, about an ongoing hillside slip at Kinetic Park.

The hillside at Kinetic Park previously suffered a landslide, which brought slurry and other material to the bottom of the hill. Some of the material has been cleaned up, but the hillside has not been repaired, Potesta said.

"A lot of the issue is the water is in control," Potesta said.

Potesta has retained K&N Contracting of Elkview to complete necessary slip repairs, which will include installing drains and several inclines to stabilize the hillside.

He assured HMDA members the repair would be the final fix to the slide.

"If there's any sign of slipping I know for a fact K&N would be in there to fix it, they have their name attached to it," he said.

K&N is currently finishing up a separate project, but hopes to begin mobilizing the repair within two weeks time, he said. Final paperwork is still in the works.

Travis Crum is a reporter for the Herald-Dispatch. He may be reached by phone at 304-526-2801.


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