A special permit application from the Darien Athletic Foundation was discussed Tuesday night for construction of a building at the south end of the stadium field. It would serve for ticket sales and concessions, and would house two restrooms.
"The pavilion is not intended in any way to alter the programming at the stadium," said Bruce Hill, attorney for the applicant. "The foundation is not going to be running it or setting any of the rules.
"Obviously, the Board of Education will determine the usage, although the intent is to have it open during the ordinary course of the stadium."
The pavilion is the next phase in the nonprofit foundation's "Sunny Day Project," which recently included the addition of a new scoreboard.
"The building itself is really just comprised of a few different components," said Neil Hauck, architect for the project. "Two ticket booth windows, concession.
"There's a small mechanical room between the concession and the men's and women's toilet rooms."
He described it as a "sculptural object. ... We're intending to match the brick of the high school, so it's integrated with that. The same goes for the ... metal roof."
Commission Vice Chairman Susan Cameron asked a question that has been raised in recent weeks regarding the availability of the pavilion during the Fourth of July fireworks display.
Since the pavilion is proposed to be built within the firing range of the fireworks, the question was raised of whether its footprint could be moved to allow its use during the event.
"I can tell you there was a pretty thorough discussion with Bob Buch, the fire marshal," Hill said, explaining that it was deemed impractical to move it.
Cameron, however, insisted on hearing why the Darien Firefighters Association, which handles the event, hadn't been reached out to directly.
Hill said he hadn't thought it necessary, but Cameron pressed the issue and said it may be possible that the association could make changes that would allow the pavilion to be used.
"We're always interested in seeing something improved or coordinated," said Chairman Joseph Spain. "We're a planning board. We don't do micro-management. ... The high school has already been approved. We have to approve changes to the site plan, but we like to see them efficient and if there's any kind of synergies, we like to see them, too. That's basically our concern. It's not intended to be a criticism for us to raise these issues."
According to foundation President Peter Graham, the final phase of the "Sunny Day Project" involves putting in three synthetic turf multi-use fields, as well as a new grass junior varsity softball field.
"All these of these phases are contingent on us raising the money for it," he said.
Jarret Liotta is a freelance writer.