XENIA — Big changes are coming to Doug Adams Stadium.
The Xenia Community Schools Board of Education Monday approved an agreement to complete the first phase of a major renovation to the long-time home of many Xenia sports teams.
The project — estimated to cost no more than $3 million — includes the removal of six current lighting towers, the home and away bleachers, and the press box. The lights will be replaced with four energy-efficient LED towers, while new bleachers and a larger press box will be added in 2023.
“A thorough assessment of district properties in 2017 listed more than $70 million in liabilities, and we have been working incredibly hard to reduce those over the past several years, making massive strides in terms of facility repair and replacement,” said Superintendent Dr. Gabe Lofton. “With construction of the new Warner Middle School in progress, and previous projects like Benner Field House and the Bob Hope Auditorium at Xenia High School under our belt, we are turning our focus to the stadium as one of the few areas on that list that has not yet been addressed.”
Current lighting and electrical systems have become unreliable, and the bleachers are also showing the wear and tear of hosting myriad guests during many decades, according to district officials. Both the lights and the center section of the home bleachers were installed in the mid-1950s, when they were moved from what was then Central High School.
When completed, the bleachers will have ADA-compliant options and will seat 4,000 fans on the home side (an increase of 500) and 2,000 on the visiting side (an increase of 500). The press box will be 500 square feet — which is larger than the current structure — and will include an open observation deck above.
An additional 110 parking spaces will be added adjacent to the stadium, district officials said in a release.
The renovation will necessitate the demolition of the current locker room beneath the bleachers. Mobile units will be in place for the 2023-24 school year, with the goal to use them for only one year.
“In addition to providing a state-of-the-art facility for our Xenia students, their families, and our community, a revamped facility would also make the facility more attractive to OHSAA competitions and other outside groups that would generate revenue for the district and help support the facility,” Lofton said. “Our students deserve a high-quality facility that we can be proud of, one that is welcoming for all visitors.”
Doug Adams Stadium is a high-traffic facility, and has averaged 2,500-3,000 visitors for each Friday night football game this fall. In addition to high school and middle school football, the stadium is used for soccer, lacrosse, and track teams, as well as youth leagues and local club soccer teams. It sees hundreds of competitions throughout the spring, summer, and fall each year.
Once the initial phase of renovation is complete, a second phase would include other major areas in need of renovation, largely focused on locker rooms and other site structures, according to the release.
Previous improvements to the facility included replacing the track in 2017, and the turf field in 2015.