Centerville to launch first phase of park renovations soon, eyeing completion by summer 2023

Stubbs Park is on the brink of transformation. Construction to improve many of the Park’s beloved amenities will begin this spring.  Concession Stand rendering.

Credit: Contributed

Combined ShapeCaption
Stubbs Park is on the brink of transformation. Construction to improve many of the Park’s beloved amenities will begin this spring. Concession Stand rendering.

Credit: Contributed

A project that has a “significant scope” in revamping one of Centerville’s parks is expected to launch soon with nearly one third of its funding in place via grants.

The $3.6 million Leonard E. Stubbs Memorial Park renovation project has now received $1.1 million in grant/state capital funding via three different grants, according to Joey O’Brien, Centerville’s assistant city planner.

Most recently it was awarded an Ohio Department of Natural Resources Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant of $150,000 in late March.

“The $150,000 RTP grant plays a pivotal role in helping transform thousands of feet of narrow gravel paths into 8-foot-wide asphalt trails,” O’Brien told the Dayton Daily News. “Without this grant the city would likely not be able to fund a trail paving project of this magnitude.”

Previous funding came via a state capital fund grant of $800,000 in December 2020 and an ODNR NatureWorks grant of $150,000 in November 2021. The latter grant is specifically aimed at replacing an aging playground in the park with new playground equipment and a solid rubber surface.

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The overall project also includes significant improvements to the amphitheater’s bandshell, seating area and plaza, O’Brien said. Specific improvements to the bandshell include renovations to fix structural deterioration and new and improved theatrical lighting and sound to allow for more diverse performance possibilities.

Improvements to amphitheater seating include increased handicap accessible event seating, updated dance pads and structured grass terrace seating, O’Brien said. The project also includes pond, parking and pedestrian circulation enhancements.

“When master planning the Stubbs Park improvements, the city conducted a public survey that received more 500 responses,” he said. “The community let us know that community gathering and amphitheater improvements were the most important items to address.

This project includes significant investment into these areas that will help improve quality of life in the community, O’Brien said.

“We believe families will be most excited to enjoy the new and improved community gathering plaza next to the amphitheater with picnic lawns, a viewing area to overlook the expanded and naturalized pond and an interactive script Centerville sign to climb and take pictures on,” he said. “This, along with accessibility and performance improvements to the amphitheater, will help create a fun and exciting experience for all parkgoers and concert attendees.”

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The project has “a significant scope” and is expected to temporarily close several areas of the park this summer, O’Brien said. That includes most areas around the park’s entry, amphitheater and ponds. Construction has been planned around the city’s annual Summer Concert Series that will still take place this June and July.

Two additional phases are planned beyond Phase One, O’Brien said.

The city will not seek additional funds for Phase One of Stubbs Park Improvements, but will seek additional funds for future phases of the project, he said. Specific funding sources and amounts have not been determined at this time.

Any remaining balance after grant funding has been exhausted will come from the city’s Capital Improvement Budget, O’Brien said. Construction of the project is expected to launch in May or June and finish by late spring or early summer 2023, he said.

The construction will be required to work around the city’s Summer Concert Series that will run every Sunday in June and July, O’Brien said. During June and July, construction contractors will be able to perform low-impact construction that will not impact the Summer Concert Series with significant construction beginning in August.

A more specific construction timeline will be available after the project goes bid out later this spring.


Phase One of Leonard E. Stubbs Memorial Park improvements includes:

  • Renovating amphitheater bandshell to fix structural deterioration and improve theatrical lighting and sound to allow for more diverse performance possibilities.
  • Improving amphitheater bowl to construct more accessible handicap seating, update dance pads and create structured grass terrace seating for performance patrons.
  • Building new event plaza adjacent to the amphitheater with an expanded seating and concession area, picnic lawns, food truck area and pondside deck.
  • Completing concessions and restroom building renovations inside and out to meet ADA compliance, construct a covered porch and improve the building façade.
  • Expanding and consolidating three ponds north of amphitheater and create a naturalized water edge to improve the habitat for plants and animals.
  • Consolidating ditches and swales throughout the park to improve stormwater management and water quality.
  • Constructing a new Veterans Memorial and Amphitheater parking lot to bring parking off the main drive aisle, enhance ADA accessibility and improve vehicular and pedestrian traffic interactions.
  • Improving the park entrance on Spring Valley Road by widening and striping the entrance and exit driving lanes and simplifying traffic patterns.

SOURCE: City of Centerville

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