Nearly a decade has passed since efforts kicked off to install lights at Staples High School's stadium.

But years of planning, debate and litigation pushed the lighting initiative well into overtime, as far as fans of the Wreckers' football team were concerned.

Earlier this year, however, town officials signed off on settlement of a lawsuit filed by neighbors, and the project hit the field in earnest. Over the spring and summer, two 70-foot-tall lighting towers and two 80-foot-tall towers were installed, made possible by private fundraising.

On Wednesday night, the lights and stadium sound system got their final test before their official debut at Friday's game, when the Wreckers host St. Joseph of Trumbull at 7 p.m.

Gathered on the sidelines Wednesday to oversee the final tests, lasting about 15 minutes, was Staples head custodian Horace Lewis, High Point Road resident and Lighting Committee member Maury Wind, Dan DeVito and Board of Education member Mark Mathias.

Operation of the tower lighting was facilitated from Iowa by satellite signal.

In addition to the lighting, the outdoor sound system was also tested, with a High Point Road neighbor, Heidi Mandel, providing feedback by cellphone to Wind on both the audio and visual impact of the new stadium features on the area.

A bigger test, however, comes Friday night, when 3,000 fans are expected to add to the volume as they cheer on the Wreckers in the season opener.