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Stadium construction continues on schedule

LAWRENCEVILLE - It's the good kind of disagreement.

Gwinnett Braves' General Manager Bruce Baldwin swears the stadium construction is ahead of schedule. Len Moser, Vice President National Sports for stadium construction company Barton Malow, wouldn't go beyond on schedule.

Regardless of the perspective, the news is good.

Out of six- and some seven-day work weeks, what was a dry, dusty lot on the official groundbreaking now sprouts more than just the outline of a baseball stadium. There is a clear field, with a tripod marking the pitchers' mound and an irrigation system lining the outfield wall and warning track. Dry wall hangs on many of the frames separating the second-level suites and the final brick exposure lines the main portion of the ballpark.

On the inside, Moser said, painting has begun in the locker rooms, flooring has been laid and ceilings are finished. Seats are scheduled to arrive next week.

Even the recent weather hasn't slowed construction too much. Progress is almost constantly reforecast, Moser said, and since the interior is on schedule even wet days allow work to continue.

"We still have a lot to do," Baldwin said Wednesday during a tour of the field. "But there has been a ton done."

The fence may not be up, but Baldwin quickly pointed out the dimensions would mirror those at Turner Field.

"That, as an organization, was very important to us," he said.

The home season opens April 17, but the schedule aims for a April 1 finish on construction. And every week, Baldwin sees leaps.

"I come down on Saturdays only," he said. "I am amazed every Saturday.

"We couldn't be more pleased."