MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- The Monongalia County Commission was expected to give the initial OK Thursday to plans for a new tax increment financing district and a baseball stadium that West Virginia University and other teams would likely share.
Media outlets say all three commissioners pledged support for the project at a three-hour public hearing Wednesday but delayed a vote until Thursday afternoon so some documents could be changed.
Their approval, however, would be the first of several major hurdles. The West Virginia Development Office and the Legislature would still have to grant approval for the stadium near the University Town Centre in Granville to become a reality.
At the hearing, Mon View LLC representatives Jason Donahue and Brian Helmick outlined plans for about $5 million in preliminary road and intersection improvements. They said construction of the stadium itself would follow, at a cost of about $16.2 million. It could be done by February 2014.
Once it's finished, the developers would build a new $24 million exit along Interstate 79 between Star City and Westover. That could be finished by August 2015.
The project should create about 1,755 construction jobs and about 1,140 permanent jobs, Donahue said.
The developers haven't specified who will own the stadium, but Helmick said they envision it being publicly owned.
WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck said he sees it as "a true community venture."
WVU, Fairmont State University and the New York-Penn League have expressed interest in playing there. Luck said the stadium could also host youth baseball events and concerts.
Designstream LLC of Pittsburgh gave WVU 10 renderings of Mountaineer Ballpark last week, and the school posted them on its athletics site. They show a three-level facility with a suite-style upper tier.