A few home football games will be played before the next phase of the Trimble County High School athletic field construction project begins, school board members decided Thursday.

Board members approved a construction schedule for the second phase of the athletic fields to allow for a shortened home football schedule before beginning earthwork behind the high school. Construction work will begin at the end of September following a four-week football season.

The approved construction schedule will not allow for any track meets to be held at the new athletic complex in the spring, but teams might be able to practice on the field as long as weather doesn't delay the work, Bob Haffermann of K. Norman Berry Associates Architects of Louisville said.

"I can't tell you what's going to happen with this year's weather," Haffermann said. "Every year, you never know what you're going to get."

The timeline allows for some weather delays. It also allows for the best growth period for the turf to be installed on the football field.

School board members and Haffermann discussed design development documents, as well as other components of the project during the meeting.

The football field will be leveled to about the height of the center of the current field.

"We're filling in your visitors' side and we're taking away from your home side," Haffermann said of the leveling project.

The concession stand will have a 12-foot window for better visibility to allow parents to watch the games while working. Other final drawings of the complex still remain to be completed.

"We're not finished with our drawings," Haffermann said. "We're still working on that."

Board members approved the design documents, including an outline specification and statement of probable cost of nearly $1.7 million for the project.

The firm plans to present the documents to the Kentucky Department of Education to prepare for the bidding process. Final documents for the project should be prepared by the end of May or the beginning of June, Haffermann said.

The school board also approved a transfer of more than $746,000 from the district's General Fund to the Construction Fund for the project.

During the meeting, Teena Drake and members of the Trimble County Middle School Student Energy Team presented their research and what they've learned throughout the last year. The students, including Kolton Starks, Daniella Tebib, Shelby Murray, Breanna Neal, Candance Neal, Breanna Perry and Jaiden Beatty, told school board members they've learned the importance and energy savings associated with shutting off lights, using Energy Star-rated appliances and unplugging unused items like phone chargers and radios.

Students created a solar water heater model throughout the year, which was entered into the state energy competition. The group plans to travel to Frankfort on June 6 for the state awards program.

The middle school saw a significant decrease in energy usage through the work of the Energy Team, Drake said. The schools decreased energy usage by nearly 35 percent district-wide.

Students noted the team walks through the school after the day to turn out lights left on throughout the building. They also take energy-conservation tips home to help save energy in the community.