Athletic fields

Alexandria plans more community discussions on sports field lighting projects | ALXnow


Alexandria City High School Friday Night Lights at Alexandria City High School on Sept. 17, 2021. (Via Elijah Walter Griffin, Sr.)

The City of Alexandria plans to hold a meeting later this month to discuss plans for light sports fields around the city.

The idea behind adding lighting is to provide additional capacity to meet increasing pressure on city fields. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 21 at the Center récréatif Patrick Henry (4653, avenue Taney).

“The addition of sports field lighting will provide additional capacity to meet current and growing needs for school and community programs within the city’s fixed resources,” a statement read. “The project will support the City Council’s 2022 Community Priority of Supporting Youth and Families by expanding capacity for youth programs, and the City’s goal of providing equitable access to facilities and services.

But the prospect has already faced some pushback from the community from neighbors who say the lights create a nuisance, in part because they allow sporting activities to continue late into the evening. Lighting projects for an athletic field at Alexandria City High School were the subject of a long drawn out battle between the school system and the neighbors which was finally settled in 2020, with games played under the new lights starting in 2021.

The city council has already approved funding for the lighting of two sports fields pending a special use permit approved by the planning commission and the city council. The release said lighting additional fields would likely be a three to five year process.

City staff have said in previous meetings that there are three fields that could be lit as early as FY2023:

  • Francis C Hammond Middle School, 4646 Seminary Road
  • George Washington Middle School, 1005 Mt. Vernon Ave.
  • Jefferson School Houston K-8, 1501 Cameron St.

Two other fields, one at Patrick Henry K-8 School and Recreation Center (4643 and 4653 Taney Avenue) and Eugene Simpson Stadium Park (426 East Monroe Avenue) cannot be lit until 2024 and 2025 respectively .

“If you are unable to attend the public hearing, comments will be accepted by mail or email [[email protected]]until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20, 2022,” the statement read. “Please send your written comments to RPCA, ATTN: Jack Browand, 1108 Jefferson Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.”

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