MORGANTOWN - Oliver Luck spent most of Wednesday bouncing from one meeting to another. At times, he said, he had to believe that an outsider would have no way of connecting any of them.
"A little while ago I was meeting with the Federal Highways Administration and the state Division of Highways,'' the West Virginia athletic director said between two of those gatherings. "Then it's a meeting with Consol to find out if there are any mine shafts in the area. One minute we're talking about wetlands and the next about bats in mine shafts. I guess then we'll have to do a bat survey.''
Amazingly, it was all tied to one thing.
That's right, baseball.
Wednesday was a huge day for the proposed $16 million baseball stadium planned for Morgantown and to be used by WVU. Call it a logistics day, when anyone and everyone involved in the project came together in one form or another to work out the bugs.
The bottom line? They did, at least to an extent. Or at least they made tangible progress.
And while there's much more planning to be done - not to mention groundbreaking and actual construction - it seems that the stadium and all that goes with it could be on track to open in two years.
"Our timetable for the stadium is to have it open for the 2015 season,'' Luck said. "But syncing our timetable to that of everything else that has to be done is a huge challenge.''
As a refresher, here are the plans. In addition to the ballpark, which will be home to WVU and perhaps a New York-Penn League minor league team, there is to be further development of 1,400 acres at the University Towne Center. That means shops and stores and restaurants, along with all the infrastructure required to make those possible - roads, water, sewage, etc.
It also means a new interchange for traffic off Interstate 79 between the Westover and Star City exits. At an estimated $25 million, it's easily the big-ticket item in the plans.
That, more than anything else, dominated the logistical meetings Wednesday. It has been the biggest question mark surrounding the project because without that interchange there will be no easy way to get to the ballpark, the stores, the restaurants or anything else, save for the current winding, already congested access road off the Star City exit.