Athletic fields

Dayton will have sports fields, pickleball courts, group shell


The Salvation Army received a boost Tuesday night when the city’s Zoning Appeals Board approved two waiver requests to benefit the project.

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The new $4.3 million recreational facility will be built on the former site of McGuffy Elementary School, which was demolished in 2012.

On the western half of the property will be sports fields for football and lacrosse and new bleachers, according to a report by City of Dayton staff.

EARLIER: Opening of pickleball courts in Kettering

The eastern half will contain a strip shell, a grass field for flexible uses, six tennis and pickleball courts and a storage building, the report said. The site will have restrooms, a concession area and a running path that circles the fields, according to a site plan.

Pickleball is played by two or four players and mixes elements of tennis, table tennis and badminton.

The Kroc Center at Webster and Keowee streets opened in 2010, bringing new investment and amenities to a struggling working-class neighborhood.

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The center offers a worship center, recreation center, food pantry, movie theater, dance studio, piano lab, outdoor spaces, and a banquet center. The campus also has an early childhood center, a technology café and after-school tutoring for schoolchildren.

The center was funded with $1.5 billion in funds that Joan Kroc, widow of the founder of McDonald’s Corp. Ray Kroc, donated to the Salvation Army to help create community centers in underserved neighborhoods.

The Dayton charity received $66 million to help fund construction of the facility and its long-term operations.

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The Salvation Army was granted a use waiver by the Board of Zoning Appeals on Tuesday, which was needed because recreation facilities are not permitted in this part of town. The group also obtained a waiver to install a 56-foot-tall display tower.

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