Tennis Courts Given Approval to Go Ahead
Alexandria, Va. – Alexandria City School Board approved a contract to proceed with installing tennis courts at T.C. Williams High School on Thursday and crews are expected to break ground on the project after Thanksgiving.
The courts are anticipated to be ready for use by the start of the competitive inter scholastic tennis season in March, dependent on the winter weather.
Tennis coach and parent of two T.C. Williams tennis team captains Hank Harris said that although the tennis courts have been a long time coming, this is the start of a new era at T.C. Williams.
“I am excited that the T.C. Williams tennis teams and students, as well as the community, will finally be able to enjoy the tennis courts that they deserve. It has been quite a long process that I am happy to see coming to a positive end. I hope we can introduce tennis to new generations of kids in Alexandria who may have never had the opportunity,” Harris said.
When not being used for T.C. Williams’ classes, team training sessions and competitions, the courts will be available for members of the public.
“These tennis courts serve more than just the tennis team. Our students who are not at the competitive level can be exposed to a sport that provides the opportunity for learning team work and sports etiquette,” said Niandra Sinclair, T.C. Williams student liaison to the School Board.
School Board Chair Karen Graf said, “We are very excited about this project finally moving ahead. We have had to overcome hurdles along the way.”
The scope of the project has undergone many changes, including site relocation, the addition of lights and extensive buffering, since its original conception. As a result the original project budget was not sufficient to cover the total scope of work.
“Our School Board has been vigilant with our fiscal oversight of the Capital Improvement Project (CIP) budget since we took office. With the tennis court project, we were presented a situation which was not ideal. However, ACPS made a commitment to the community that it would go ahead, and now finally we are able to fulfil that promise,” Graf said.
In reviewing the CIP budget as part of a larger overall analysis of the budget, surplus funds left over from four well-managed projects were identified, and those funds were reallocated by the School Board to fund the tennis courts. In addition, funds were found from one project which was no longer required. The use of these funds does not detract from any other project awaiting implementation.
Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley said, “The unveiling of the CIP budget in December will show a new approach to planning and managing our projects. We are moving toward modernization and maintenance for our properties and applying proper and consistent account reviews.”