DARIEN — While turf is a go at the high school, discussion on stadium lighting lingers on.

As the new school year approaches, the Darien Board of Education discussed its plans for the stadium lights, while the high school also prepares to have a turf field installed. The turf field, which will be installed by early October, is done in collaboration with the Darien Athletic Foundation.

“They’re essentially managing the project and will donate the field when completed,” said Superintendent of Schools Dan Brenner.

The turf field will be the third one at the high school.

“It’s just a multipurpose field that allows for continuous play,” Brenner said. “It’ll allow teams to play on a much higher quality surface.”

Moving forward, the school board hopes to also add lights to Darien High School’s stadium. The board continues to work on its proposal for lighting to submit to the Planning and Zoning Commission. On Tuesday, at the school board meeting, Brenner introduced two amendments to the lights proposal based on feedback from the neighbors.

After the board’s July 26 meeting, Brenner said he was contacted by a neighbor of the stadium, who represented several residents. Brenner met with the neighbor and they agreed upon some compromises to the original proposal that Brenner would bring to the board.

“I was challenged with the idea of whether or not to come back to the board and essentially reopen a discussion we thought we have completed,” he said. “I decided to do it in the spirit of being good neighbors and getting the lights up and done.”

Based on the neighbor’s recommendation, Brenner proposed a new shutoff time of 7:30 p.m. for the lights, with an exception of games that run late, in which case the lights could remain on for the duration of the game. Brenner said this would not mean games would be later, but if a game went into overtime or had started late for busing reasons, they wouldn’t have to worry about cutting it short.

“I’ll tell you that will be few and far between,” he said.

The second amendment would concern the length of the terms being set in the proposal. According to this, the proposal could be revisited yearly, but the times could not be changed for another five years.

Members of the board expressed concerns about the length of this contract agreement, but Brenner pointed out they could still revisit issues outside the time of the lighting. After some discussion, the board unanimously approved these amendments.

“The goal is for us to have lights up next fall with the idea we would get approvals through,” Brenner said. “The idea is to strike a balance to allow us to move ahead and allow the neighbors to feel like they’ve been heard and the kids are being taken care of.”

ekayata@hearstmediact.com; @erin_kayata

More Information

Other school renovations

Locker pods were converted into classrooms to accommodate more students at the high school.

New security measures at the high school, including a buzzer system for the front door.

A guard rail was installed on the far side of the upper oval fields at the high school.