Darien High School’s state of the art stadium light to debut this Fall
DARIEN — Darien High School’s stadium lights have been installed and will soon make their debut.
Town officials and members of the Darien Athletic Foundation (DAF), the nonprofit that successfully ran a campaign to raise $750,000 for the new lights and sound system, gathered the week of Aug. 14 for the first official test.
“I think it’s a great addition for the community to join all the other towns in Fairfield County that allow lights and evening sporting events,” said Planning and Zoning Commissioner John Sini.
Sini has two boys, one in 8th grade, the other a sophomore at Darien High School, who he believes will one day benefit from the lights, which are state of the art as far as Connecticut high school football fields are concerned.
“Darien High is only the second high school in Connecticut with the newest technology-LED-stadium lights,” said Mark Maybell, one of the founders of the DAF. The other high school is New Milford.
According to Maybell, “DAF Board Members Lou Gesualdi and Bruce Ferguson oversaw the installation which was on time and under budget.
The first game under the new lights will be played by DHS field hockey on Sept. 14.
The town’s approval of the lights came in January after extensive talks with neighbors and the implementation of rules of usage. Prior to its 2017 approval, the issue of lights at Darien High School hadn’t been before the Planning and Zoning Commission since 1994.
According to the terms agreed upon by neighbors and school officials, each
DHS varsity team will be permitted to play two games under the lights, plus playoff games. On nights when no game is scheduled, the lights and sound system — controlled remotely by the manufacturer, Musco Sports Lighting, based in Iowa — will be shut off by 7:30 p.m.
The DAF campaign, headed by the Darien Lights Brigade, the fundraising body of the DAF tasked with raising money for the lights, met with considerable support in the community.
“DAF exceeded its funding goal of $750,000 through its Darien Lights Brigade campaign,” Maybell said.
Athletes who use the field, as well as their parents and coaches, look forward to the Friday Night Lights.
“That’s why I’ve been so involved, I think it’ll be great for the community,” Sini said.