Northern Lehigh School District's new, state-of-the-art multipurpose turf field could still be ready in time for the fall sports season.

That's contingent on how soon the district receives a soil and erosion permit from the Lehigh County Conservation District so that construction may begin.

As of early this morning, the district had yet to receive the permit, according to Greg Derr, director of support services and transportation. However, Derr said he was hopeful the permit would arrive in the mail later today.

Whether or not the field will be ready in time for the start of the fall sports season was discussed at last month's school board meeting, at which time board President Edward Hartman said he was told the district should have the permit in its possession by July 1.

If the turf field isn't completed by the start of the fall sports season, the district would lose revenue, and would have to pay for the transportation of students to travel to away athletic contests.

In February, the board agreed to spend $770,000 for the turf field, which calls for an artificial surface, scoreboard, and security camera system in the Bulldog Athletic Stadium.

At that time, the board entered into contracts with Field Turf to install the artificial surface ($699,000); Nevoc to install a scoreboard ($50,000); and a company to install a security camera system ($20,000), to be paid from the district's Capital Projects account.

In April, the district received bids from six companies for a close-circuit video surveillance, at which time Berkshire Systems, of Reading, turned in the apparent low bid of $15,924. That proposal was a mere $198 less than the next lowest bid of $16,122 turned in by Schneider Electric, of Horsham, Montgomery County.

Superintendent Michael Michaels said in January that he was concerned with the surface of the playing field, and added that referees have complained of the field's poor condition.

At that time, Michaels said the board could either choose to upgrade the stadium surface with natural grass, which would cost about $400,000; or, pay an additional cost of $299,000 for turf, which would raise the price for the turf field to $699,000.