JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Installation of a new turf football field will close the track around Indian Trail Middle School’s existing field, a popular walking spot for people in the area.

Starting this week, crews plan to get equipment on-site and start moving dirt. The new artificial turf is expected to be completed in early November.

“When construction starts, that officially becomes the construction site,” Indian Trail principal James Jacobs said. “So they will actually put a perimeter fence around and no one, not even us, will be allowed in the construction site.”

The work will restrict access to the surrounding field and track.

“There will be some detours for those that are used to using the walking trails and running,” Jacobs said. “It’ll be off-site for a little while.”

Jacobs said the grass field has experienced its fair share of wear and tear between football practice and other recreational uses. The new turf field will not be susceptible to as much damage, and Jacobs told News Channel 11 it could result in Indian Trail playing home games at the actual middle school.

“Our kids love our campus,” Jacobs said. “They love to play home games. Families live close by, so they’ll be able to come enjoy games here on campus.”

At present, the school buses its football team to Kermit Tipton Stadium on Science Hill’s campus for home games.

Prior to leaving for Science Hill, the players use their classrooms as locker rooms. Jacobs said the soon-to-start construction also includes a new field house so the team can have its own designated locker room.

“The former pavilion has been converted to a locker room,” Jacobs said. “Hopefully, that’ll be done by this fall.”

After the turf field is installed and construction is complete, Jacobs said students will have more opportunities to get involved in sports. The new facilities could even attract more people to the area.

“This does give us an edge and helps attract more families here because of the facilities we have.”

Indian Trail is also planning to renovate its gym floor during the school year and hopes to rebuild and resurface its track if Johnson City officials approve it.