Dayton school board approves $11M Welcome Stadium renovation contract

Welcome Stadium is lit up for a playoff football game.

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Welcome Stadium is lit up for a playoff football game.

DPS works with community on design; renderings coming soon, field/track replacement is this summer

The Dayton school board on Tuesday approved an $11 million contract with Shook Construction to design the Welcome Stadium remodeling project and start looking for subcontractors to do the work.

Dayton Public already named Skanska USA as the project manager in January and approved an updated contract of $496,000 Tuesday. Elizabeth Lolli, Dayton Public Schools superintendent, said Skanska will oversee the project for the district and Shook will be executing the project.

Hiring an outside overseer is expected to be a cost-saving measure, because it will give closer oversight over the project than the district could do itself, Lolli told board members at a review session on Feb. 8. Board members expressed concerns about project costs after renovation of the current Dayton Public Schools administrative building downtown ended up costing the district about $3 million, instead of the expected cost of $2.27 million.

ExploreSee Welcome Stadium photos, top athletes through the years
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A ticket booth at Welcome Stadium. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

A ticket booth at Welcome Stadium. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Combined ShapeCaption
A ticket booth at Welcome Stadium. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

School board member Dion Sampson asked Skanska and Shook representatives at the board meeting if there was a guarantee that the school board would not need to pay more than the budget for this project. The representatives replied that they cannot spend more money than has been approved by the board by contract, and they will have to come back to Dayton Public Schools if they need more.

The stadium was built in 1949 on what is now on Edwin C. Moses Blvd. It serves as the district’s primary track and football stadium, and is also used by the University of Dayton’s football team.

The most recent renovation was a $3 million project about 15 years ago in 2006-08. Roughly $2 million of that total went for lead paint abatement, an upgrade to the stadium facade and replacement of the turf field.

This time, DPS said the district will be working with community members on the design for the stadium and plans to keep the historical character of the stadium, but also update the stadium for compliance with disability access standards and modernize problems like plumbing.

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Dayton Public Schools' renovation of Welcome Stadium will include upgrades to outdated restrooms and locker rooms shown in these 2022 photos, among other changes. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Dayton Public Schools' renovation of Welcome Stadium will include upgrades to outdated restrooms and locker rooms shown in these 2022 photos, among other changes. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Combined ShapeCaption
Dayton Public Schools' renovation of Welcome Stadium will include upgrades to outdated restrooms and locker rooms shown in these 2022 photos, among other changes. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Dayton school board member Karen Wick-Gagnet and board president Will Smith are part of a committee working with the contractors and providing input on the project. Smith said the committee plans to meet at least once a month.

Wick-Gagnet said DPS is getting close to the point where the district can share renderings of the stadium with the public, which she called, “really exciting.”

Smith said he hopes the project will not just improve the athletic facilities for Dayton students but will also allow people to reflect on the history of Dayton public schools.

“We are excited to see what we can do and provide for not only our children, but the city and the region,” Smith said.

Skanska senior vice president and regional executive Curtis Elswick said he anticipates the artificial turf field and track would be replaced by the end of the summer, with design work on other improvements anticipated to begin in April.

The $1.19 million contract approved by the school board Jan. 18 is with Motz Group, Inc., a turf supplier near Cincinnati that has installed turf fields for the Cincinnati Bengals and several local high schools.

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Welcome Stadium in photos

Take a look back at dozens of historical photos of Welcome Stadium, where thousands of local residents have run track, played football and cheered on their teams. Only at DaytonDailyNews.com.

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