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Dayton Daily News (Ohio)
TIPP CITY — Supporters of upgrades to the City Park athletic stadium are continuing to raise funds for more pieces of the project after the installation of syntheticturf and other first-phase work was completed.
Full plans include new bleachers, locker rooms, press box, lights and ticket booths, but officials of a local organization leading the fundraising efforts say they have different levels of plans depending on how much money can be raised.
Money for an overall $4.9 million stadium project is being raised privately by the nonprofit Tipp Pride Association. Scott George, TPA vice president, said he hopes that when people and businesses in the community see the impact of $1.1 million in site work and synthetic turf installation, they will get more enthusiastic about donating.
The field, he said, "looks fantastic. People are getting excited. We hope that carries into contributions."
While businesses have been responsive to fundraising, efforts continue to increase community support.
"Several community members have stepped forward. The majority have not," George said. "We hope to prove to them, with the field getting done, this is something we are committed to."
The new turf project kicked off in the spring with site work and then turf installation under the coordination of Bruns General Contracting and Alliance Engineering.
The first phase, which was fully funded, cost around $1.1 million. The Phase 1 money came from the school district, which committed to provide the $75,000 a year it receives under an agreement with Premier Health for athletic facilities for 10 years, as well as from donations from businesses and individuals.
The Phase 2 plan has two options, and how much is raised by the end of the fall sports season will determine which is pursued.
George said there's money available from the city and TPA fundraising to do the smaller of two phase two options, which includes the home side concession, restrooms and storage building along with installing a portion of the new exterior stadium fencing. The estimate for that work is $690,000.
An expanded Phase 2 plan would require an additional $1.6 million. That plan includes the basic Phase 2 work plus demolition of home side structures and excavation to accommodate new home side bleachers and press box, new stadium lights, a stadium plaza and home side and visitors' ticket booths.
The amount of the city contribution to Phase 2 has not been finalized, said City Manager Tim Eggleston. Among options being explored are the city paying up to two-thirds the building cost because its facilities would be used by City Park visitors or the city fronting the building cost if there's agreement with the schools on a new stadium lease that would include the schools repaying a portion to the city, he said. The city owns the stadium, which is leased by the school district.
"To be able to keep the stadium project moving forward, the council has in spirit committed to funding the concession/restroom/storage building," Eggleston said in a written statement. "Before the city can totally commit to the project, a new lease has to be worked out … Otherwise, the city will only possibly contribute two thirds (of) the cost of the restrooms."
Once all Phase 2 work is complete, the remaining work would include home and visitors' locker rooms, visitors' concession and restrooms and visitors' stands, George said.
Anyone interested in supporting the stadium project or learning more about the effort can visit tipppride.com.
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