SHEPHERDSVILLE – When the high school teams return to the gridiron in August, they can expect to be running and tackling on turf fields.

            With the process moving forward, bids could be taken in mid-February on the multi-million dollar project to upgrade athletic facilities at the three Bullitt County high schools.

            Completion date for all three schools is Aug. 1, three weeks prior to the start of the next football and soccer seasons.

            A total estimated cost of around $9 million was projected when the plans were discussed last summer by the Bullitt County Public School Board.

            Architect Cate Ward felt that a single contractor would be the winning bidder on the projects.

            All three high schools would receive turf fields with markings for football, soccer and maybe field hockey.

At North Bullitt and Bullitt Central, the fields would also have an eight-lane track.

            For Bullitt East, the track would be located in a separate location.

            All three tracks, which would be suitable to host regional events, would include pole vault pits.

            Each school will have new bleachers and a new press box in the first phase of construction. According to superintendent Dr. Jesse Bacon, that first phase will also include PA systems, scoreboards, updated lighting and fencing.

            Look for the  home bleachers to have a capacity of 3,100 at Bullitt Central with the North Bullitt seating at 2,850.

            Visitor bleachers will accommodate 736 for each school, according to Ward.

            At Bullitt East, the home bleachers will set 3,050.

            The home fans will not have to look into the sun as the bleachers will be switched to the opposite side. That will put the visitors looking into the sun for those early season games.

            A unique feature at all three schools will be the ability to sell booster seats to generate additional revenue.

            The tennis courts will be displaced at Bullitt East due to the relocation of the track. Ward said another location would be needed.

            In the next phase of the facility improvements, projects such as bleacher replacements and lighting upgrades for the softball and baseball fields, will be tackled.  Restrooms may also be part of the second phase.

Fieldhouses, locker rooms, as well as health and PE training centers, would be in the final phase.

Bacon said understanding the completion date for the turf fields will be tight, two of the schools have already scheduled away games for the first two football contests.

If construction is delayed, Bacon said a contingency plan will need to be put into place.