A community meeting is scheduled next week to address some of the planned improvements to the Parker-Gray Stadium at T.C. Williams High School.
The meeting is set to take place on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 6:30 p.m. in T.C. Williams High School (3330 King Street).
The most talked-about item has been the plan to add lights to the stadium, allowing nighttime games but drawing the ire of residents next door to the stadium who say the addition of lights violates a promise made years ago.
Plans for stadium lights were ultimately approved by a divided City Council. There were efforts made to mitigate the impact of the proposed lights on the nearby residences, but opposition to the lights remained — a lawsuit from nearby residents regarding the lights is still pending.
There’s more to the stadium improvements than just lights. According to Alexandria City Public Schools, plans for the stadium include:
- The addition of an eighth lane on the track
- Replacement of the artificial turf
- The addition of restrooms
- A new concession stand
- A ticket booth
- Replacement of the scoreboard and placement on the other end of the field
- Egress safety lighting
- A new press box to replace the condemned one on the other side of the field to improve the quality of lighting for images and video for media.
- Field lighting
- An upgraded the sound system to comply with the City of Alexandria’s Noise Ordinance, enhance the quality of the sound, disperse the sound via multiple speakers and direct it away from houses along the fence line.
The schools have made changes to the design of the improvements to move restrooms and concessions away from the neighborhood.
The Tuesday meeting is expected to focus on community input on future fencing to surround the perimeter of the stadium.
A tentative timeline on the ACPS website says construction on the track should begin sometime this month, with construction of the lights expected in April 2020. The whole project is tentatively planned to be completed by August 2020.