Friday Night Lights at Alexandria's T.C. Williams?

Community advisory meeting open to all set for Monday night.

Will TC Williams get permanent lights for night games during football season? Patch archive photo
Will TC Williams get permanent lights for night games during football season? Patch archive photo

Four years ago, T.C. Williams hosted a football game under temporary lights, welcoming back its famed "Remember the Titans" team from 1971. Today, there's a new push to make the lights on Friday nights permanent.

The Alexandria City School Board recently initiated a feasibility study for lights at the 3,000-seat Parker-Gray Memorial Stadium at T.C. Williams High School, according to a news release from ACPS. 

The Washington Post notes that opposition comes mainly from residents who live nearby. 

The School Board initiated the study to prepare information for its 10-year (Fiscal Year 2016-25) Capital Improvement Program in the fall. Funding has also been added to the Fiscal Year 2015 budget for sound system improvements at the stadium.

"Back in 2010 when T.C. Williams hosted a football game under the lights, there was great excitement as the community came together to cheer on our Titans," said School Board Member Marc Williams. 

"The time is right to have a conversation about further building our Alexandria community by placing permanent lights in our stadium," he said in the release. "To that end, I supported a feasibility study for the lights. I also added funding to the upcoming budget to upgrade the stadium's sound system to minimize the impact on the neighbors."

The School Board will review the study's findings at its regular meeting scheduled for Thursday, June 19. Community members will have an opportunity to review the agenda documents on June 14 on the ACPS website.

At 6 p.m. Monday, the T.C. Williams Community Advisory Committee will meet at T.C. Williams, 3330 King St., to begin the community engagement process. The one-hour meeting will take place in the T.C. Rotunda on the second floor. This meeting is open to all.

"Our School Board values transparency and community engagement," said School Board Chair Karen Graf. "The first step is to reach out to the T.C. neighbors to gather their input. ACPS sent out 270 letters to nearby residents informing them of the feasibility study and our community engagement process."

After June 19, if the School Board decides to pursue an adjustment to T.C. Williams' Developmental Special Use Permit, the ACPS facilities department will set up additional community engagement meetings to collect and address citizen concerns.

What do you think? Weigh in! Should there be permanent lights at the stadium? Why or why not?


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