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With demolition slated, cost questions remain for St. Paul ballpark

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It just wouldn't be living in the Twin Cities without a stadium controversy, and the residents of St. Paul have one to call their own.

The Pioneer Press takes a look at the rising cost questions surrounding the proposed St. Paul Saints ballpark in Lowertown.

Reports started to surface in early June that environmental remediation on the site was $8.8 million more than expected, and it’s unclear how that would affect the project’s $54 million price tag.

Now, rising environmental costs are prompting some to call for a slowdown of construction on a new 7,000-seat regional ballpark, says the PiPress, with heavy demolition of the old Gillette/Diamond Products site is slated for mid-July.

The St. Paul paper reports officials with Ryan Cos., the general contractor on the ballpark project, say an additional $2.6 million is needed for design and construction, and $6.2 million would be for environmental and "geotechnical corrections."

The depth of the bad dirt, the paper reports, in some areas stretches at least 20 feet underground, instead of the previously estimated 8 feet.

At least eight environmental studies have taken place on the old Gillette/Diamond Products site since 2000, says the PiPress.. The vacant, 650,000-square-foot manufacturing facility will be torn down after a public ceremony scheduled for July 13.

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