After years of debate, a new sports stadium could be headed to Lehighton Area School District.

That depends on the outcome of a hearing scheduled for 7 p.m. June 25 before the borough's zoning hearing board.

At that time, the school district is asking to obtain variances to move the project forward.

The district has requested a determination of the necessity for approval of a special use for the construction of a sports stadium with artificial turf complete with field house, restrooms and grandstand-style bleachers, and if necessary, approval of that special use.

The borough's zoning ordinance requires special use approval in the R-1 zoning district.

Additionally, the district has requested variances for the following:

A section of the zoning ordinance lists a maximum building height of 2.5 stories and 35 feet.

The height of the press box is listed at 45 feet.

A section of the zoning ordinance related to off-street parking, which states spaces shall be located on the same lot as the use to which they are accessory, or within a radius of 400 feet of the principal use served and within the same zoning district as the principal use.

Sections of the zoning ordinance state that parking and loading areas shall be surfaced with durable bituminous or concrete paving material and illuminated.

The district has requested relief from paving and illumination for 100 spaces to be grass covered and managed by attendants.

Sections of the zoning ordinance as it pertains to relief from screening requirements for the proposed overflow grass parking area.

Lehighton Area School District Superintendent Jonathan J. Cleaver said in November, the school board approved Barry Isset & Associates Inc. to complete designs for the proposed development of a new multipurpose stadium.

At the time of that vote, the anticipated budget for the project was estimated to be between $4.9 million and $5.6 million.

District officials have previously said the stadium could take two to three years to complete.

Updated figures are expected to be available next week.