Preparations are under way to replace Mundelein High School's grass football field with artificial turf.
The school board on Tuesday agreed to hire a company to remove the grass and dirt at the school stadium and to build the base for the eventual artificial turf field.
The board also agreed to hire a separate firm to remove and replace the quarter-mile running track around the field as well as a third company to fence off the area during construction.
The work won't interfere with the Mustangs' 2011 season. Construction is set to begin the week of Oct. 10, after the final Oct. 7 home game.
The board hired a Union, IL company called Team Reil to do the grass removal and other preparation work. It will be paid $519,295 for the job.
Some of the dirt the company removes from the field will be used elsewhere on campus, Mundelein High Business Manager Gary Lonquist said. The sophomore baseball field, which has been pounded by years of use, could receive some of the dirt, he said.
A Lake Zurich company called Chicagoland Paving will remove the current running track and install a new one. That work will cost the district $389,900.
A Mundelein company called Action Fence Contractors will fence off the stadium during the construction. The board agreed Tuesday to pay the firm $118,750 for that work.
All three bids were approved without opposition, Superintendent Jody Ware said.
The District 120 school board hasn't yet chosen a type of turf or a manufacturer for the field. Trustees and administrators have visited two out-of-town schools to study examples of turf fields, and three additional visits are planned this month.
The new turf and track is expected to be ready for use in spring 2012, Lonquist said. The stadium's pending closure won't significantly affect classes or extracurricular activities this year.
The marching band uses a different field to practice, Lonquist said. And by mid-October, physical education classes are moving indoors because of the weather, he said.
If the work isn't done by spring, the Mundelein lacrosse team could play home games at a different field on campus or at neighboring schools, Ware said. Another option would be to play the entire season on the road, she said.
The turf and track projects, estimated to cost $2.6 million, are being funded via a debt extension voters approved this past April. The move raised $10 million for campus improvements.