Lebanon schools launch fundraising effort for athletic facilities project

‘The Legacy Project’ master plan/fundraising campaign is designed to give each sport a place of their own

Lebanon City Schools recently announced the launch of “The Legacy Project,” a capital improvement initiative the district hopes will have a lasting impact on Lebanon student-athletes and the community as a whole.

The first phase of the project includes home bleacher and press box upgrades at James Vandegrift Stadium at 160 Miller Road as well as the installation of artificial turf and field upgrades at Lebanon High School on Drake Road.

Spokeswoman Wendy Planicka said the district believes that maintaining and ensuring safe and up-to-date facilities is a vital part of doing good business as a school district, and that all district facilities must be safe and inclusive to everyone in our community. The bleachers are nearing the end of their useful life and need to be updated to include handicap accessible ramps, seating and walkway handrails, she said.

School officials said bidding for the bleacher and press box work at Vandegrift Stadium began in May with a goal of completion by August 2024 to open the fall sports season in the updated facility.

Officials also said the turf field installation at Lebanon High School is on pace to break ground in October, with a completion date set for March 1, 2024, allowing Lebanon lacrosse teams to open their season at their new home.

To fund the first phase, Lebanon City Schools provided $2.5 million, the Warren County Soccer Association donated $240,000, and the Lebanon Athletic Boosters provided a cash donation along with a commitment for annual pledges over the next 10 years.

Planicka said the first phase of The Legacy Project addresses some immediate priorities without needing to ask taxpayers for funding or impacting the district’s general fund operating budgets.

Earlier this year, district Superintendent Isaac Seevers told the Dayton Daily News that the athletic facility improvements are not tied to an operating levy or bond issue, and future phases are dependent on private support, corporate sponsors, and donations. A campaign committee has formed to fundraise for the project.

Phase Two includes additional upgrades at Vandegrift Stadium that include new restrooms, locker room, a new entry plaza, concession and visitor bleacher upgrades. Other pieces include baseball and softball diamond upgrades and upgrades at Lebanon High School to include a new field house with locker rooms and restrooms, additional bleachers, a permanent marching band tower, a new press box, parking, and improved grass practice fields.

Once both phases are completed, The Legacy Project will provide every outdoor varsity sport a consistent space to play and practice.

Further information is available online: www.lebanonlegacyproject.com

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