Welcome Stadium expected to open next month with primary phase completed

The district is accepting nominations for the Hall of Fame.

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Dayton Public Schools officials say Welcome Stadium is still on track to open around the same time as football season and are now asking for nominations for a Hall of Fame highlighting former DPS athletes and coaches.

Dayton schools have been renovating Welcome Stadium since last year. DPS starts school on Aug. 14.

Will Smith, DPS board of education member and one of the members of the board committee steering Welcome Stadium’s development, said the historical pieces in the Hall of Fame will be in halls and in future site buildings.

“This Hall of Fame is a call to those to show that this district has not forgotten them or their legacy,” Smith said. “We have students in our district that have no clue of the things accomplished by those that came before them. This is an opportunity to show our current and future students that they too can strive for greatness.”

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

The district is now asking people to send in nominations for the Athletic Hall of Fame, by Aug. 5, through an online form. The athlete must have been out of high school for at least 10 years, coaches must have at least five years of varsity coaching experience and have coached at DPS.

Consideration will also be given to the nominee’s character, shown during their time at DPS and after. DPS said a selection committee will pick the finalize the first class of inductees, and special honors may also be awarded.

Chrisondra Goodwine, DPS school board president, said the funding for the Hall of Fame is included in the $29 million renovation costs, and the funding has not been broken out.

“There’s been a lot of work that’s gone into that entity,” Goodwine said while announcing the stadium’s opening at the school board meeting on Tuesday.

In April, the district hosted the Edwin C. Moses track meet at Welcome Stadium. The meet is named after Edwin C. Moses, a track star who was born in Dayton and won two gold Olympic medals in hurdles in 1976 and 1984, two gold medals at the World Championships, three gold medals at the International Association of Athletics Federations competition, and gold at the 1986 Goodwill Games in Moscow.

Dayton schools have budgeted about $29 million for the renovations. Former DPS superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said previously renovations included a new press box, turf playing field replacement, updated locker rooms and a Walk of Fame.

The stands were redone as well, with refurbished steps and new ramps for handicapped access. Lolli said the press box, spirit shop and concession stands will be updated with new technology. New security cameras will be installed around the stadium.

The district is still considering fundraising to build a second playing field and a field house, among other items, which would push the total cost to about $40 million, though details about fundraising haven’t fully come out.

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