T.C. Williams Parker-Gray Stadium

Students playing soccer on stadium field
  • Overview

    ACPS is in the process of modernizing the Parker-Gray Memorial Stadium at T.C. Williams High School. As student enrollment continues to grow, there is an increasing need for modern facilities that meet the needs of the current and future student population, our athletics programs and the marching band. The aim is to create a multi-use facility that will serve the needs of Alexandria’s only public high school and our community.

    The design includes:

    • 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 score board 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.

    There have been six community meetings held around the design of the new stadium. In addition, four smaller meetings have been held with specific groups to resolve concerns that have arisen during the community engagement process.

    The design team made the following adjustments in line with community requests as a result of the community engagement process:

    • Separated the concessions from restroom/storage building to minimize massing of structures and spectators.

    Moved the footprint of the restroom/storage building to the north to create more space between the building and adjacent property line.

    • Flipped the restroom and storage facility to maximize the distance of the restrooms from nearby houses.
    • Added a new score board and moved its location.
    • Conducted a sound study to ensure the least disturbance possible from the new sound system.
    • Resolved the new location of the ticket booth.
    • Discussed options around installing higher poles to minimize the glare from field lighting. The original design complied with the City Ordinance of 60 feet. ACPS is intending to work with the City over the summer to request a change to the ordinance to increase the height of the poles to 70 feet and 80 feet to further minimize glare.

    Community meetings have been recorded and can be viewed below. A final community meeting will be held in late spring around stadium usage and scheduling use of the field. If you have questions regarding the stadium, please email news@acps.k12.va.us.

    Project Updates

    October 15, 2019 - T.C. Williams Perimeter Fence Community Meeting 

    Hord, Caplan, Macht led this community meeting to discuss the preferred style of fence for the perimeter of the Parker-Gray stadium. At the meeting, the public was asked to share their thoughts about what kind of fence they would like to have built. There will be a follow-up meeting when options will be presented based on the feedback received.

    September 11, 2019 - Neighborhood Community Forum 

    Committee Members: 

    • Bill Goff
    • Andrea Mackey-Lewis 
    • Gail Noren 
    • Peter Balas
    • John Finnigan 
    • Tammy Ignacio 
    • James Parker 

    6pm: Walking Tour 

    Issues discussed: Wall/Fence  

    • Wall/fence - John Finnigan discussed that input was needed for fencing material, height, and any other specs. Neighbors discussed similar to highways and also soundproof as part of discussion. 
    • Neighbors mentioned brick wall mentioned by previous ACPS School Board. 
    • Sound barrier was the main functionality. 
    • Mackey-Lewis - Suggests exploring feasibility of building a domed stadium to eliminate the lights and sound issues. 

    Item #1: Addressed recently. ACPS should continue to do this regularly. Clean-up should be part of the regular maintenance along the fence line. 

    Item #2 & 3: Security concerns about stadium events and overall security. Will new stadium have access points that will have human security officers? 

    • Parker says currently we have the entrances and exits covered by staff. 
    • Noren suggests hiring a security firm to make a proposal for security plan about the entrances and exits. This is open 24/7 and can be accessed. While we already contract services for security at T.C. Williams High School, this specific proposal was for games, practices and ensuring weekend events are not held without permits.  
    • Mimi Goff - discusses alleged gang activity and points to graffiti found outside. 
    • Ignacio - When other groups are here and they are run off, they go to another field. Why aren’t our gates locked to the field to keep non-permitted users out on weekends? 
    • Bartlett says ACPS will be looking to bring in security firm to assess the safety of secondary schools. This could be included in discussion. 
    • Finnigan - explain the new design features having more barriers to ensure safety and limit access points and use push-through gates. 
    • Access and permit usage - Superintendent needs to sign off. 
    • Goff asks protocol if an event is happening on the field and no permit is suspected, call security. Security will respond and if they need help they will contact 911. 
    • ACPS Security knows that they can expect calls from neighbors. 
    • Why can’t ACPS lock-down the campuses and the athletic facilities and only allow the permitted people to access? The facility should not be used by others and should be preserved for student usage for school events. 

    Item #4: Traffic Study 

    • Chair Goff states the last traffic study was 15+ years ago. What would a new stadium do to the traffic in the area? 
    • How can this group request a traffic study?
    • Would a traffic study even be granted since we are not expanding the stadium? 
    • Will the field usage time of use (Friday evening) have an impact on traffic and parking?
    • Harkness - A traffic study should be done to look into the impact around school and other streets nearby. 
    • Other parking areas include Minnie Howard and possibly nearby churches. 

    Upcoming Meetngs:

    • December 4 - Committee will pass on a tour unless necessary - 5:30pm meeting
    • March 11 - 5:30 - 7:30 pm
    • June 24 - 5:30 - 7:30 pm

    September 2019 - Update for Stadium Project

    • ACPS will meet with the City’s Department of Planning and Zoning in September to discuss the final site plan and permit. Any changes to the original plan, including the fence, will be shared with the community. Construction was scheduled to begin in September 2019. However, ACPS is anticipating changes to this timeline that will be shared with the community as soon as they are confirmed.
    • ACPS is currently in the process of reviewing the budget for the stadium as part of the Fiscal Year 2021 Capital Improvement Program Budget.
    • Since July, ACPS has been meeting with the T.C. community as required by the DSUP. A summary of these meetings can be viewed under previous updates on this page.

    July 19, 2019 - St. James Announcement 

    ACPS is excited to announce that T.C. Williams High School will be able to play its football games indoors at the St. James - brand new state of the art sports facility that just opened last year in Springfield, VA. - this fall. Learn More.

    July 19, 2019 - Tentative construction timeline:

    • DSUP Final permit application to City: April 2019
    • DSUP anticipated permit: August / September 2019
    • Anticipated contract award: September 2019
    • Commence construction (track, field, press box, ticket booth): October 2019
    • Commence construction (lights): April 2020
    • Project completion: August 2020

    June 10, 2019 - Neighbor Forum Meeting Notes

    6:00 pm: Tour Notes - Finnigan, Parker & Ignacio led tour. 

    Gates - Arm needs to be fixed and ONLY used for emergency. Coaches, students and staff should not be parking illegally in the back of the school (as was happening during the tour).

    Landscaping Concerns Observed: 

    • Weeds  - Weeds around the facility and the stadium is not being done by BrightView.  Weeds are also out of control along the fence line, under the bleachers and around the facility. 
    • Trash along the fence line isn’t getting picked up and the fence line isn’t being kept clean and mowed.
    • Dead trees need to be removed.
    • Would like to look into the possibility of moving the concession stand and saving the old oak tree that’s been there for many years. 
    • Clean up around current concession stand and weeding near the stadium stands - home side. 

    Field Usage - Who will be approving permits and monitoring the field usage? People are always playing on the field (usually adults from MD with no permit and security refuses to move them).  

    Traffic Study - Has ACPS completed a traffic study to determine how many cars our garage and Chinquapin can park?  The do not want night game overflow in their communities. 

    Scoreboard - Would like to know exactly where the scoreboard will be located.

    Noise - Mr. Goff and others continue to be concerned about the noise in the stadium as well as the new sound system.  

    7:00 pm: Meeting Notes

    Notes from Last Meeting - Goff - request to add to the notes from April 3 - Add to noise. Not just speakers. Fans, whistles, players, band, cheering, etc. The combination of these noises is the concern in totality. Balas sent in request to have the addition made to the April notes. 

    Noise simulations were not done during actual games. Finnigan suggested sharing report. New sound system will be clearer and more audible. There is nothing that can be done regarding the fans cheering. What can wait is the announcements until fan noise dies down. 

    Bill Goff elected chair of the group. 

    Current Schedule of Stadium Project- John Finnigan 

    • We are about to submit second round based on comments.
    • We have construction documents close to ready to put out for bids. Selection process for selection of a firm is projected in Fall 2019, which would need School Board approval.
    • Starting work in Fall also presents issues around weather. 

    Question: Noren -  How does lawsuit impact the start date? 

    • ACPS is in constant contact with lawyers to guide the process. Project should proceed.

    Question: Goff - How much money has the SB allocated? 

    • ACPS does not know the actual figure. Will try to find out. Goff expresses concern about potentially going over (like the tennis courts). 

    Parking Concerns - Noren - Encourage students to not park in neighborhoods. 

    • Maybe need more space in Chinquapin. Trash left in neighborhoods. Students allegedly having sex in cars. 

    Mackey-Lewis - Be more cognizant of safety around near where the neighbors fence line is. Increase security around where the neighbors houses are. 

    Flemming - Thanks TC admin for being responsive to concerns expressed. Thanks Parker for keeping noise (sound) down. 

    Noren - Encourage police to come around periodically to address speeding students in cars. 

    Students have half day schedules. Increased foot traffic around mid-day is normal. 

    Goff - Concerned about graffiti and possible gang activity. ACPS responds not seeing this in school currently. 

    Updates on Summer Use of Building and Field

    • Spring season over
    • Some football 7x7
    • Summer school July 8 - August 2 
    • Practice starts August 1 - Mondays thru Fridays afternoon. 
    • No permitted use on field other than teams
    • Most likely will not be playing games here at home depending on construction. As of now, planning to be off site. 
    • Looking into possibly playing at St James.

    Concerns about people/groups using field without permit. Neighbors can call ACPS Security - 703-824-6690. Mr. Parker will email weekly all summer to update on approved activities on the field. 

    Next Date and Time of Meeting - Will be decided electronically by committee members. 

    • Possible Agenda Topics for Next Meeting 

    Possibility of Traffic Study - for the purposes of the potential impact of Friday Night Lights games - traffic and parking on neighborhood. 

    Goff - Broaden Scope - should we have other representatives here? 

    May 6, 2019 - An Update on the Modernization of Parker-Gray Stadium at T.C. Williams High School

    In October, the City Council approved the modernization of the Parker-Gray Stadium at T.C. Williams High School.

    The resolution included many conditions, several of which were aimed at ensuring minimal discomfort to the surrounding neighborhood during the stadium modernization and addressing neighborhood concerns. ACPS and the City are working together to ensure that we are in compliance with all the conditions.

    ACPS has continued to move forward with the construction drawings for the stadium modernization and preparation for the permitting process. We were intending to complete the construction work by the end of the summer, however due to the natural back and forth of the permitting and review process, the work will now start this summer instead of the spring.
     
    The work will be comprised of three components:

    • Stadium facilities: New ticket booth; concession stand; restrooms
    • Stadium modernization: Track upgrades, sound system; scoreboard; press box
    • Stadium lighting: Egress lighting; field lighting

    The athletics field will not be able to be used during the main part of the construction. The Athletics Department is working with our ACPS partners to make sure that all practices and games can be held at neighboring facilities. We apologize in advance for this inconvenience and know that this is not ideal for our athletes. We will keep you updated on these changes and the progress of this project as we get more information.

    Thank you for your patience. If you have questions, please reach out to the ACPS Office of Communications at news@acps.k12.va.us.

    Neighborhood Forum:

    January 29, 2019

    According to the current schedule for the modernization of the Parker-Gray Stadium, construction on the concession stand and ticket booth will begin in late April 2019. Work on the track and field replacement (including the press box, sound system, lights and other elements) will begin after school is out in June. 
     
    ACPS is in the process of setting up an initial meeting with the new advisory group.

    October 2018

    The City Council established the T.C. Williams Neighborhood Forum in alignment with condition #106 of DSUP #2017-0016: Parker Gray Stadoum Modernization at T.C. Williams High School. 

    Condition #106 states: To provide a permanent forum for the discussion and resolution of neighborhood issues that arise as a result of the impacts on the adjacent neighborhood from the ongoing operation of the high school and stadium, ACPS shall establish and coordinate a T.C. Williams Neighborhood Forum. The members of the Forum from ACPS will include the Principal, Athletic Director, Director of Facilities and Operations for T.C. Williams, and the ACPS Chief Operating Officer or designee. The Forum shall include up to four residents of the adjacent neighborhoods, including at least one on Bishops Lane and one on Woods Place, each of which will jointly serve, for a term not to exceed two years, to assist in the coordination of meetings and topics for discussion. The adjacent neighborhood representatives to the Forum will select a chair from the neighbors of the school, for a term not to exceed two years, to assist in the coordination of meetings and topics for discussion. The Forum will meet quarterly to include a walking tour of the school site at each meeting with the above-stated representatives in attendance. The Forum will provide a report of the quarterly meetings and walking tours to the School Board and to Planning and Zoning staff no later than two weeks following the meetings. (P&Z) (PC) (DSUP2017-0016).

    October 13, 2018 The final design was approved by City Council on Saturday, October 13 

    October 11, 2018 - School Board Meeting:The School Board passed a resolution on October 11, 2018 to commit to the conditions set out by the Planning Commission.

    October 2, 2018 The final design for the upgraded stadium was approved by  the Planning Commission on October 2, 2018.

    June 20, 2018 - Community Meeting

    March 13, 2018 - Community Meeting:

    November 27, 2017 - Community Meeting:

    September 25, 2017 - Community Meeting:

    May 22, 2017 - Community Meeting:

    March 21, 2017 - Community Meeting:

    Febuary 13, 2017 - Community Meeting: