Dayton school board approves first $1.19M of Welcome Stadium renovation

Aerial view of Dayton Public Schools' Welcome Stadium looking west.   DDN FILE PHOTO

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Aerial view of Dayton Public Schools' Welcome Stadium looking west. DDN FILE PHOTO

Motz Group will handle replacement of turf field, running track.

Dayton’s school board approved a $1.19 million contract Tuesday for renovation of the running track and the turf field surface at Welcome Stadium, the Dayton Public Schools stadium on Edwin Moses Boulevard.

The contract is with Motz Group, Inc., a turf supplier near Cincinnati that has installed turf fields for the Cincinnati Bengals and several local high schools.

Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said the money came from a settlement with the Ohio Department of Education and the school board earmarked it for Welcome Stadium.

Last August, Dayton Public Schools announced plans to renovate Welcome Stadium and authorized Lolli to begin hiring consultants and contractors to shape and execute the project. School documents used the terms “renovation/new build.”

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Lolli said the change would be “major.” A 2019 preliminary estimate from the school district suggested budgeting a total of $10 million for stadium repairs.

In 2008, the stadium was renovated to include a press box, a brick walkway and spaces for sponsored advertising, according to the University of Dayton.

Lolli told the school board Tuesday that the district is working with Motz Group on the design, logos and wording to go on the field. She said there’s a 14-16-week lead time that includes ordering materials.

Lolli did not answer further questions this week about the full scope of the project or an overall timeline.

Welcome Stadium seats 11,000 people and is owned by DPS. It has an artificial turf football field, a track and field complex, locker rooms, concession stands, a large press box and a scoreboard with video replay capability. It was built in 1949 and named after Percival Welcome, a longtime athletics director for Dayton Public Schools.

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The stadium hosts DPS high school football games, University of Dayton football games, numerous track and field meets and other events.

For years, Welcome Stadium hosted numerous OHSAA postseason events — football playoff games, as well as district, regional and state track and field championships. But since DPS and Dunbar High School were placed on OHSAA probation in 2017 for a game-rigging scandal, Welcome Stadium has not hosted postseason events.

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