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New field lighting baked into Minnie Howard campus expansion permitting

After the 2019 decision to maintain one high school, Alexandria City Public Schools is finally getting ready to send its expanded campus concept to the city for review.

Plans specifically for the current Minnie Howard campus are scheduled to go to the Planning Commission on Tuesday, Jan. 4:

Alexandria City Public Schools is seeking approval of a Development Special Use Permit (DSUP) to construct a new high school campus on the existing Minnie Howard campus site. The existing Minnie Hoard building will remain operational during demolition of the existing recreational facilities and construction of the new school building. Once the new school building is operational, the existing school building will be demolished and the remaining recreational areas, parking areas, and open space will be constructed in its place.

The DSUP notes that the new athletic facilities will have field lighting baked into the permit approval, avoiding the fight that delayed lights at the Parker-Gray Stadium for years.

“[The permit will] allow for congregate recreational facility lighting up to 80 feet in height; to allow for an increase in height of accessory netting for the recreational areas up to 40 feet in height; to allow the building height to exceed 50 feet up to 77 feet,” the docket said.

The plan will add new classroom space to the school, along with community meeting spaces, active recreation areas and more.

Earlier this year, the School Board chose a “pinwheel” design for the school that will shape classrooms and gym space into a nautilus-type curve with the existing school eventually replaced with an open field and other athletic spaces.

If approved, construction on the new school is scheduled to start in June 2022.

Image via ACPS

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