DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Dayton Convention Center is celebrating its 50th birthday while undergoing a $40M renovation.

The center opened its doors to the public 50 years ago on Jan. 13, 1973. Prior to the pandemic, about 180 thousand people visited each year from across the country.

It is currently undergoing a 40-million-dollar renovation project that includes a redesign of the main exhibit halls, enhanced LED lighting and a new outdoor terrace overlooking green space.

“You know, the plaza out front is going to completely change. Our front door is going to change,” Pam Plageman, Dayton Convention Center Executive Director and CEO, said.

“So, from Jefferson to Main all along that Fifth Street corridor, it’s going to be kind of like a park-like feel, green space so you can go outside and get some fresh air, take a pause during your meeting or your event and really enjoy the space.”

Plageman said there will be a safety crosswalk added across Fifth Street to the Convention Center.

“Right now, you have to go to Jefferson or Main to cross, so it makes sense to add that safety crosswalk for our guests,” Plageman said.

These renovations are expected to be finished by the end of 2024.

You can keep up with the Dayton Convention Center and its event offerings here.