Oakwood backs $2.5M athletic field/track facility

UPDATE @ 9:45 p.m.: The Oakwood City Council and the school board tonight have voted to support and approve the multimillion-dollar artificial turf athletic field and track.

City schools Superintendent Kyle Ramey said, “our next steps will be to engage a design professional. So we’ll go get an architect or an engineer to help us go to that next phase.

“We have to finish raising the money so that we can make this all possible because we aren’t there yet.”

Chris Eifert, Oakwood Athletic Boosters Association president, said, “this project is really about the schools but it’s also about the community and the additional opportunities it’s going to bring to the Oakwood community center and the schools as a whole.”

He said community support has been over the top.

“One of the things we really wanted to make sure is that we protected some of the key traditions in town. For example, Friday night football needs to remain in Oakwood. That was a key tenant of the project from the beginning. I think once people understood that, they really saw that this was a huge upgrade for the sports,” Eifert said.

UPDATE @ 8:15 p.m.: The city of Dayton will have to approve any zoning changes to accommodate the proposed multimillion-dollar artificial turf athletic field and track, said Oakwood Mayor William Duncan, who notes that Dayton city officials have been receptive.

City officials also have been in talks with Cox Media Group on the issue of extra parking once the facility is up and operating on Oakwood’s Old River Sports Complex, he said.

UPDATE @ 7:35 p.m. (Sept. 21)

The Oakwood Athletic Boosters organization has raised $1.73 million of the estimated $2.5 million needed to build the proposed artificial turf athletic field and track where field hockey, lacrosse and track meets will take place, city schools Superintendent Kyle Ramey said.

Ramey said once the facility is completed, the city school district will assume financial responsibility for the maintenance.

A new facility would mean the school district would be able to host track meets. The current facility is not in compliance with state high school regulations, Ramey said.

The boosters organization on Tuesday plans to start the Building New Traditions fundraising campaign and hopes to complete raising money by the end of the year. Construction could be begin in 2016.

According to a resolution made available at tonight’s City Council meeting, city officials will back development of the facility being pushed by the boosters organization, which approached the district in 2014 to discuss a privately funded stadium.

We’ve also learned, through the document, that Oakwood High School formed a 10-member Turf Task Force this year, which included representatives of the school, the city and the boosters organization.

According to the proposal presented at the council meeting, the facility would include seating for 1,000 and would be used by about 400 student athletes.

According to the district, more than 650 junior high and high school students participate in athletics.

UPDATE @ 9:56 a.m. (Sept. 15)

Oakwood City Manager Norbert Klopsch said a preliminary estimate for the cost of the stadium construction is expected to be $2.5 million.

Klopsch said as of now it appears the city will retain ownership of the land and the Oakwood Athletic Boosters will raise the funds for the stadium.

No official plans have been filed with the city, but the stadium is expected to have an 8-lane track, Klopsch said.

A consultant, designer or architect has not been hired yet, Klopsch said.

FIRST REPORT (Sept. 14)

The Oakwood Athletic Boosters are proposing a privately funded multimillion-dollar athletic facility, consisting of a stadium with artificial turf field and track, to be built at Oakwood’s Old River Sports Complex.

The boosters organization is to come to the City Council meeting Monday (Sept. 21) to present the scope of the project and the efforts underway to secure the financing, according to information the city released late this afternoon.

The Oakwood City School Board will convene jointly with City Council to hear the proposal and discuss its merits, according to the city. Both bodies are expected to take formal action on the proposal following the presentation.

The meeting, in council chambers at 7:30 p.m., is open to the public.