An athletic field bleacher replacement project could cost the Palmerton Area School District nearly three-quarter of a million dollars.

Three companies submitted bids to the district on Thursday, with CMG, of Easton, turning in the apparent low bid of $774,000 to do the project.

That proposal was $146,360 less than the next lowest bid of $920,360 turned in by FA Rohrbach, of Bethlehem, and $155,000 less than the $929,000 figure from CC Inc., Construction Services, of Bethlehem.

All three of the companies included bid alternate deductions as part of their proposals.

Rob Sarnowksi, of Barry Isett & Associates, Trexlertown, the school district's engineer of record, said he anticipated the district would have received more bids for the project, based upon the number of inquiries when the project was first advertised.

Board President Barry Scherer said no decision to award a contact will be made until after the board receives a recommendation from its engineer.

Superintendent Carol Boyce said she looks forward to the progression of improvements to the athletic stadium.

"I'm excited about the prospects of upgrading our facilities, and paying attention to the maintenance of our taxpayers' very expensive investment," Boyce said. "And, the stadium will now become more handicapped accessible."

The project also calls for a weight room roof, demolition, installation of a permanent grandstand, and associated site improvements.

Boyce previously said the project has been necessitated by "concerns with the weight room roof and other structural issues with that building, along with safety and accessibility matters with the bleachers which rest on top of that building."

She said the project is included in the list of bond projects after the board agreed last fall to borrow $5 million and restructure its 2006 bond issue.

In September, the board awarded a contract to JB Electric, of Minersville, in the amount of $99,469, to replace its high school stadium lighting.

That project, which is currently underway and is also included in the list of bond projects, involves the installation of four new steel poles, foundations and lighting fixtures at the stadium.