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Will Nolehi turf field be done in time?

Published June 12. 2012 05:01PM

Whether Northern Lehigh School District's multipurpose turf field will be usable in time for the fall sports season could be in jeopardy.

High school Principal Robert Vlasaty told the school board on Monday that construction has yet to begin at the field because the district still hasn't received a soil and erosion permit from the Lehigh County Conservation District.

Vlasaty told the board he was informed the matter was in "executive review", and added that the district has "left no stone unturned."

Board President Edward Hartman said he was told that the permit should be received by July 1.

Superintendent Michael Michaels said the situation has been one of frustration.

"We've tried very, very hard; we've worked every angle known to man," Michaels said. "This board of education is going to be looked at if we don't play home games on the turf."

Vlasaty said both he, as well as athletic director Bryan Geist, "went down personally to check if everything was filed appropriately."

"We're concerned with the amount of revenue we stand to lose and the inconvenience to the community," Vlasaty said. "The whole community is going to be impacted by this."

Vlasaty added that the district would also be responsible to pay for the transportation of students to travel to away athletic contests.

"We have everything in line, and are ready to go," he said. "All we need is blessing from Lehigh County."

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.

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.

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