NORTHAMPTON, Pa. -

On a placid midsummer night, the Northampton Area School District Board of Directors looked years into the future.

The nine-member legislative body approved five additions to the current middle school campus renovation project totaling $955,000 during Monday night's meeting.

The investments include replacing the existing lighting at Al Erdosy Stadium, adding field lighting for the new bus loop field, installing a new marquee sign at the high school, constructing a memorial area and erecting a donor paver at the stadium entrance.

Superintendent Joseph Kovalchik made it clear Monday night he expected those projects to come in at considerably less than the amount directors approved.

"We're pretty confident this is going to come down $300,000," he told directors.

Taken in context, the projects were presented as a prudent investment for the district's future.

The lighting will allow NASD to utilize the playing field for a longer period of time, especially during the fall months when daylight becomes more scarce.

In addition, Kovalchik said the donor pavers, with a $17,500 price tag, has "a lot of potential" for translating into a revenue source for the Konkrete Kids Education Foundation, which would sell the pavers to raise funds for students and staff.

The superintendent also said the new marquee sign along Laubach Avenue, with an estimated cost of $65,000, could also be used as a "possible advertising" billboard for the district, garnering additional income.

The projects approved by the board Monday night will not add to the overall cost of the middle school project, but rather will be funded through the district's $4.1 million construction contingency fund.

The overall cost of the middle school campus renovation project is $80.7 million.

In other business Monday night, the board approved two separate agreements between the district and Community Services for Children, Inc. to provide a preschool program modeled after the Head Start Preschool Program, and to implement a Head Start Pre-K program for a total of 40 students.

Kovalchik said there is no cost to the district, as the program is paid for and provided through the Keystones to Opportunity/Striving Readers grant.