Trimble County school board members approved a $2.26 million bid for the second phase of the district's athletic field project, even though the lowest bid was nearly $500,000 over the project's estimated budget.

Board members accepted the low bid from David Engineering of Louisville.

The second phase includes a new football field and a new track and field facility behind the high school.

School board members rejected bids from the first bidding process last month after they came in over budget by nearly $1 million. K. Norman Berry Associates Architects of Louisville previously estimated the project's budget to be nearly $1.7 million.

Two companies that bid on the project during the first round of bidding submitted bids a second time after adjustments were made to the project.

EH Construction submitted a bid of $2.4 million - a decrease of $345,000 from its initial bid. MAC Construction submitted a bid of $2.3 million - a decrease of $327,000.

Architects met with school officials after the first bids were rejected. Portions of the project - including a larger parking lot, gateway, water line to the practice field area, one of two long-jump pits, sub-drainage and other items - were deleted to decrease some of the expenses.

Bob Haffermann of K. Norman Berry Associates Architects said several of the company's other projects have come in over budget as well. He also noted several construction companies that usually bid on projects were already working on other projects and don't have time to bid on additional projects at this time.

"I think, personally, that the (Louisville) bridge project is the problem," he said.

The Trimble County Schools project has been delayed about four to six weeks because of the rejection of first set of bids, Superintendent Marcia Dunaway said. The work should still be completed in time for football season in 2014 because the first games have already been scheduled as away games.

Also during the meeting, the board unanimously approved the revised BG1 form for the project to reflect the subtractions to reduce costs. Board members also unanimously approved the use of capital funds to pay for the project.