Students and neighbors are enjoying the new artificial turf field at Hammond Middle School. SHA is still waiting to get the final cost of installation, now at $2.9 million.
Episcopal High School is considering the installation of lights on its football field 'Hummel Bowl' The topic was not discussed at the Winter Board meeting but may be at the April Board meeting.
The Hammond School athletic field is delayed by problems with drainage. The cost of the field is not known by the City, perhaps $ 2.1 million.
Installation of the athletic turf on the upper athletic field at Hammond Middle School and the redesign of bus lanes is taking longer than expected because of underground utility conflicts that required redesign and may be finished in November. City does not have a good estimate on the final cost; they will let us know when it is finished.
Installation of the athletic turf on the upper athletic field at Hammond Middle School and the redesign of bus lanes is taking longer than expected because of underground utility conflicts that required redesign. Completion of the project is now planned for November with crews working on Saturdays. The sidewalks will reopen by the beginning of school (4 Sept).
City staff replied to questions from citizens that the they were not aware of any high water table issues with this project, the new field and circulation required the relocation of storm water runoff management that “will function better and serve a larger area,” and “our Construction Management & Inspection Staff is diligent about maintaining pedestrian access to the greatest extent possible during a project.” No mention of provision of a crossing guard or police during rush hours.
SHA wrote to the School Board again asking for a commitment from them to refrain from installing lights on the field at Hammond Middle School in future years. No response was received.
The Alexandria School Board wrote to SHA that “there is no plan for lights, and there is no funding request from ACPS in the FY 2013 budget for lights. Lights have not been approved by the School Board.” A statement of facts rather than a commitment.
A public meeting about the field replacement project at Hammond failed to answer neighbors questions. City contact for this project is Monika Szczepaniec, (703) 461-4168 email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SHA wrote to the School Board asking for a commitment from them to refrain from installing lights on the field at Hammond Middle School in future years.
The Alexandria City Public Schools cancelled its public meeting on plans for artificial turf on Hammond Field.
The contractor for the Alexandria City Public Schools presented plans for the installation of athletic turf on the upper athletic field at Hammond Middle School and the redesign of bus lanes at the March meeting of Seminary Hill Association, Inc. When questioned about infrastructure for installing lights on this field, ACPS replied none was being laid in or around this construction.
SHA requests for information from the ACPS and the School Board about the Hammond field plans have yet to be answered.
The Alexandria School Board met and approved funding for the upper athletic field at Hammond Middle School but not for the installation of lights. Nan wrote to the chair of the School Board to get information about their decision on January 19 but has yet to receive a response. Per a January 17, 2012 letter, the ACPS withdrew its SUP for lights on the field. The ACPS plans to begin construction on February 1 but not sure what. SHA residents are pursuing more information about this construction project, most importantly how they will manage the water!
Seminary Hill Association and Varsity Park resident Don Fullerton sued the Alexandria City Public Schools in circuit court to force the City to comply with the law for lights on this field. SHA’s legal representative Frank Putzu reported on legal maneuverings in Circuit Court—the Demurrer, Motion to Quash Stay and Motion to Quash Writ—that are beyond my area of expertise. Nothing was scheduled for Motions Day as of December 14. Contact Frank—Area 9 rep—for the details.
Seminary Hill Association and Varsity Park resident Don Fullerton sued the Alexandria City Public Schools in circuit court to force the City to comply with the law for lights on this field. Since the light poles proposed will not have the setback required by the site plan, the law requires that the ACPS either get a variance or make a determination that there would be no detrimental impact. The Planning Commission made no finding on the issue of detrimental impact of this project, and the City’s staff reports completely ignored the impacts on the neighborhood and the community. The three areas of detrimental impact are: illumination, stormwater runoff, and a loss of real estate values.
Jack Sullivan told City Council during an open mike session that Seminary Hill is representing the interest of every home owner in this City regarding the lights on Hammond field because the people in the Planning Office are making things up as they go along. They are putting their desires ahead of the zoning ordinances and obstructing the public.
The Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) heard SHA’s objections to the decision by the Planning Director to approve lights on the upper athletic field at Hammond Middle School. Frank Putzu represented SHA. At the conclusion of the public hearing, the BZA voted to partially deny the appeal and uphold the Director’s Determination and partially uphold the appeal and deny the Director’s Determination. Stay tuned.
SHA negotiated successfully with the Alexandria City Public Schools to reduce the number of documents to only those about the lights on the upper field at Hammond Middle School and this reduced the fee for SHA’s Freedom of Information (FOIA) request. The final amount paid for about 1,000 documents was $440.
The Alexandria City Public Schools delivered its documents on the lights at the upper athletic field at Hammond Middle School in response to SHA’s Freedom of Information (FOIA) request. The final cost was $440. The documents are posted on the SHA website.
Frank Putzu reported that the FOIA documents have strengthened SHA’s appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals to overturn the Planning Director’s decision to install lights. The appeal will be heard on October 13.
SHA has appealed the decision of the Planning Director to approve the SUP for lights on the upper athletic field of Hammond Middle School to the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). The BZA will hear it on October 13. Frank Putzu will represent SHA.
SHA is still negotiating with the Alexandria City Public Schools for their documents in response to SHA’s Freedom of Information (FOIA) request. ACPS wants SHA to pay $1,965 for the documents. SHA’s Board of Directors approved the expenditure of 50 percent of this amount and voted to set up a special fund to cover the cost of acquiring these documents. If you are willing to contribute to this effort, deliver your check—payable to “Seminary Hill Association., Inc.”—to Treasurer Jack Sullivan, 4300 Ivanhoe Place, Alexandria, VA 22304.
The City of Alexandria provided its FOIA documents at a cost of $80. The documents are posted on the SHA website under the topic “Hammond Lights.”
More than three weeks after SHA submitted a FOIA request to the City re the lights on the upper athletic field at Hammond Middle School, no documents have been received.
Planning Commission voted 4-2 in favor of the Alexandria City Public Schools’ application for an SUP to put lights on the upper field at Hammond Middle School. Next step City Council on June 25 and/or an appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals.
SHA letter clarifying the City’s process to date re SUP for lights on the upper field at Hammond Middle School and that City staff are not impartial on this matter.
The Director of Planning & Zoning denies SHA’s request to delay the hearing at the Planning Commission and adds that she “will prepare the formal zoning determination . . . requested.”
SHA asks the Director of Planning & Zoning postpone the hearing at the Planning Commission because of the “complicated factual and legal issues with significant policy implications.”
Superintendent of Schools Morton Sherman forwarded two City memos—both responses from James Spengler, the Director of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities dated May 26 and May 27—in response to SHA’s first letter on May 18. No response from the City’s lawyer.
The Director of Planning & Zoning responded to SHA’s second letter with her “initial thoughts” instead of a ruling.
SHA sent a second letter to the City asking the Director of Planning & Zoning for a ruling on the process and what applies to the application.
The next public meeting about the Alexandria City Public School’s proposal to upgrade a field at Hammond Middle School—artificial turf and permanent lighting on the field at Seminary Road and Pickett—has yet to be scheduled.
The public meeting about the Alexandria City Public School’s proposal to upgrade a field at Hammond Middle School—artificial turf and permanent lighting on the field at Seminary Road and Pickett—was well attended by SHA citizens. City staff and contractors were unable to address concerns or answer questions from the public. They decided to defer the filing of the plan and to hold more meetings in the future.
The City is proposing permanent lighting on the athletic fields at Hammond Middle School. A public meeting is scheduled for February 8 at 7:30 pm in the auditorium of the school as part of the Special Use Permit (SUP) process needed to install the lights.