Major renovation or replacement planned for Welcome Stadium

The Dayton school district plans to renovate or replace Welcome Stadium, and the school board has authorized Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli to begin hiring consultants and contractors to shape and execute the project.

Dayton Public Schools documents use the term “renovation/new build” for the project. Lolli said the scope of the effort has yet to be fully determined, but she said it will be a “major” change. A 2019 preliminary estimate from the school district suggested budgeting $10 million for stadium repairs.

Credit: Ty Greenlees

Credit: Ty Greenlees

Welcome Stadium is an 11,000-seat facility owned by DPS, with an artificial turf football field and a track and field complex, sitting next to University of Dayton Arena on Edwin Moses Boulevard.

Lolli said questions about the exact condition of the facility, top priorities for a finished product and a project timeline were premature.

“We are not in a position yet to answer these questions,” Lolli said. “We are still in process of getting things planned out.”

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Last week, the school board unanimously approved a resolution authorizing Lolli for “pre-approval of Welcome Stadium project contracts.”

Lolli said at this point, the district is only seeking an “owner’s representative” to manage the project. The school board’s resolution said that owner’s rep will be identified via a “request for proposals” process, and will eventually provide “consulting and management oversight … from pre-design stage through final construction.”

Welcome Stadium hosts DPS high school football games, University of Dayton football games, numerous track and field meets and other events. It was built in 1949 and named after Percival Welcome, longtime athletics director for Dayton Public Schools.

The facility includes locker rooms and concession stands under both the east and west concrete grandstands, a large press box and a scoreboard with video reply capability. Dayton Public Schools’ athletic department offices are also part of the complex.

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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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