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Two meetings on St. Paul's Lowertown ballpark design this week

St. Paul citizens interested in the design and construction of the new St. Paul Saints ballpark in Lowertown have two chances this week to get more information and make their voices heard.

The city received $25 million from the state to help build the ballpark on the old Gillette site, near the Farmers Market. The city and the team will contribute the rest of the $54 million price tag for the stadium that will replace the aging Midway Stadium.

The plan is to open by the 2015 season.

On Tuesday night, there's a meeting of the Lowertown Ballpark Design and Construction Committee, set up to give residents, businesses, visitors, baseball fans and others a chance to advise the city and design team on the project. The meeting runs from 5 to 7 p.m. in the second-floor, skyway-level conference room of the US Bank Center.

Someone who attended the group's Feb. 19th meeting, though, wrote a letter to the editor in the Pioneer Press complaining that there wasn't enough citizen input or openness.

And on Wednesday, there's an open house focusing on the ballpark's Environmental Assessment Worksheet. The public comment period on the worksheet runs through April 3.

The EAW open house is from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Great Hall, 180 E. Fifth St.

Downtown business owner Bill Hosko is still pushing for his plan to save parts of the Gillette building and incorporate it into the ballpark design to create a multi-use facility.

City officials, though, seem intent on razing the site for the new facility.

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