Soccer field and amphitheater coming to Salvation Army Kroc Center

Plans change for outdoor athletic facilities at North Dayton’s Kroc Center

Faced with rising building costs, the Salvation Army Dayton Kroc Center has modified its plans for a new outdoor recreation facility in the McCook Field neighborhood.

The Salvation Army has scrapped plans to build a band shell but has increased the proposed number of new pickleball courts and expanded the plan for a flex field, said Tim Erlandson, business administrator for the Salvation Army Dayton Kroc Center.

The band shell “was a huge part of the project, and we needed to get a big chunk (of the costs) taken down,” he said.

RELATED: Dayton to get $4.3M athletic fields, pickleball courts, band shell

The Salvation Army Dayton Kroc Center plans to spend about $6.7 million to construct the Salvation Army Kroc Park, which will have a soccer/lacrosse field, stands, a warehouse, concession stand and eight pickleball courts.

The project also will construct a spray park and a 56-foot digital sign tower at the corner of its property at 1000 N. Keowee St., next to Interstate 75. The park will have an asphalt walking trail that is about one-third of a mile.

“When we built the Kroc Center originally, we did not have a lot of outdoor athletic space,” Erlandson said.

The Dayton Kroc Center has about 2,300 to 2,400 members.

Kroc Park will be built on vacant land just across the street from the Kroc Center, which used to be the McGuffy Elementary School. The school was torn down in 2012.

The Salvation Army hopes work will begin early next year on the new outdoor recreation facility. But the scope of the project has changed because bids have come in higher than earlier projections. Previously, the project was estimated to cost less than $5 million

Kroc Park will not have a band shell, but there will be more pickleball courts and a flex field will have more space, officials said.

Kroc Park will have about an acre of artificial turf for a variety of activities.

The Salvation Army hopes to open the spray park by June so it can be used by youth in the summer day camps. 

The rest of Kroc Park hopefully will open in late summer, possibly early fall, depending on weather and the construction schedule, officials said.

The Salvation Army is putting pickleball courts in because the sport can be played by people with a variety of skills, Erlandson said.

“It’s like the fastest-growing sport in America right now …” he said.

MORE: What the heck is pickleball?

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