Phase one of the Darien Athletic Fund's $7.5 million Sunny Day project was approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday, May 8.

The new scoreboard, which is included in the full project and will be installed for the start of the fall high school sports season, did not require a public hearing because the application is only for a site-plan approval, according to Planning and Zoning Director Jeremy Ginsberg.

However, the proposed concession stand and new turf on the field planned for Darien High School will need to go before a public hearing. The concession stand application is being presented at the Planning and Zoning meeting on Tuesday, May 28.

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The scoreboard is estimated to cost $200,000 and will be paid for by private donors, mainly consisting of heads of youth sports leagues in town.

The current scoreboard has been at the high school since the early 1980s.

"I'm pretty sure that's the same scoreboard that was there when I was there," said Kevin Cunningham, a commissioner.

The DAF, which was incorporated in January, seeks to improve facilities and support youth and high school athletics in Darien, according to Mark Maybell, fund treasurer.

The Sunny Day plan was developed with input from schools Superintendent Stephen Falcone; Board of Education Facilities Manager Michael Lynch; DHS Athletic Director Michael Sullivan; DHS field sports, such as football, baseball, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey varsity coaches; Ginsberg; and heads of youth leagues.

All of the phases of the overall project will be presented to the town as gifts. The organization wants to endow funds to be used for future maintenance so that the town incurs no costs.

This is the second-largest fundraising campaign in Darien, the first being the one for the new library, which cost $28 million.

mspicer@bcnnew.com;203-972-4407;@Meg_DarienNews