Two years after the city council approved the addition to stadium lights as part of the renovation of Parker-Gray Stadium at T.C. Williams High School, lawsuits have been settled with 15 Alexandria homeowners to allow the installation to happen.
“This is a historic settlement that ends decades of dispute relating to our City’s only high school,” Mayor Justin Wilson wrote on social media. “I am pleased that we will be able to move forward together as a community to support our students and our residents.”
Circuit Court Judge Thomas Horne approved the agreement between the homeowners, the Alexandria School Board and the city. It resolves four outstanding lawsuits against the city after ACPS allegedly made a verbal contract with homeowners that it would never light the field, after the land on which T.C. Williams High School was taken by eminent domain in the 1960s.
“I am delighted that our students will now have access to the modern facilities that will promote school spirit and enhance their social and athletic experience,”said ACPS Superintendent Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. “This is a momentous day and I now look forward to moving on and focusing our attention on supporting our students in achieving the successes they have come to expect both on and off the field.”
According to ACPS:
- The lights can be used for 50 game nights (which may include one or two games per night) per academic year, plus any postseason games. That limit does not apply to situations where lights are turned on during the day or afternoon for rain, overcast or fog
- Lighted games can go as late as 9:45 p.m. on weekdays (Monday through Thursday) and 10:15 p.m. on weekends (Friday and Saturday). There are to be no lights on Sundays. Lights must be turned off within 15 minutes of the end of the game
- Lights can be used for ACPS in-season athletic team practices to 7:45 p.m. every day except Sunday. Teams have previously scrambled for lighted practice space elsewhere in the city during the fall and early spring
- Amplified sound is permitted only for varsity games, and limited to the current residential maximum under the Alexandria City code
- Only ACPS athletic teams will have access to use the lights
- A multi-step administrative dispute resolution process has been set up for any disagreements which occur with respect to compliance with the legal agreement or certain DSUP conditions
- The term of the agreement is 40 years