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Improvements Coming to Wakefield Sports Facilities

by Katie Pyzyk August 29, 2012 at 4:55 pm 4,270 40 Comments

As the start of school lingers right around the corner, improvements have been confirmed for the sports facilities at Wakefield High School. Although some of the renovations won’t be completed in time for the 2012-2013 sports season, others are just weeks away from implementation.

Last week, Wakefield Principal Dr. Christian Willmore met with parents and discussed the issue, according to Arlington Public Schools spokesman Frank Bellavia. On Monday (August 27), Willmore joined Student Activities Director Noel Deskins in issuing a letter to the Wakefield community, outlining scheduled improvements.

The letter said, “As you visit the stadium this fall for various games and activities, you will notice that it may not look the best! The stadium was impacted by the 2011 earthquake, construction, and now the derecho! We ask that you please excuse the mess as we work with APS in making necessary updates to the stadium.”

The letter continued by outlining renovations underway or soon to come. An excerpt from the letter’s list of upgrades follows:

  • The turf along the tennis court fence has already been repaired
  • New Bleachers (yes, on both sides) total seating 2200 – by June 2013
  • New Press Box with a video filming platform for coaches, heating, AC, and an upgrade in our audio system – by June 2013
  • New Stadium Scoreboard has been ordered – expected delivery sometime in October 2012. The scoreboard will be an updated version with LED lights, trumpet horn, 1 tenth digit, time out display, WAKEFIELD inserted in place of HOME, and a name plate above the board reading HOME OF THE WARRIORS (and in Wakefield Green of course). By the way, the current scoreboard does work and we will use it until the new one arrives!

Some parents had previously expressed discontent over the facilities having fallen into such disrepair, and questioned why improvements didn’t appear to be included in the $118 million plan for a new Wakefield school building. Comparisons have been made to facilities at Yorktown and Washington-Lee High Schools, with some parents claiming Wakefield’s needs are being overlooked.

A disgruntled tipster told ARLnow.com yesterday, “The new Wakefield facility currently under construction does not have any plan for the football field and surrounding structures. County officials cite tight budgets for the lack of a plan, but many in the Wakefield community just feel jerked around; something county officials wouldn’t dare to do with the Yorktown or W&L communities.”

Echoing the discontent, the “Friends of Wakefield HS Stadium” Facebook page launched last month. In its “About” section, the page states, “We are residents of Arlington County, who would like to see the stadium at Wakefield High School upgraded to the same standard as W-L and Yorktown.” Posts have been added sporadically, highlighting issues such as the desire for a new concessions stand and restrooms in the stadium.

For a large part, the most highly requested improvements listed on the Facebook page were addressed in the letter sent to parents this week. That includes a section mentioning the possibility of a new concessions stand and restrooms which reads: “Discussions continue with APS in regards to possible replacement of concession stand and rest rooms inside stadium area.”

Photos (below) via Facebook


  • Great

    It was impacted by the 2011 earthquake? How so? Is one of the field goal posts leaning slightly to one side?

  • Erik
  • Arl4ist

    More pictures of the damaged Wakefield stadium here:

  • JimPB

    The damage should be repaired. But what I would really like to learn about is

    (1) how the school — and ACPSs generally — will be using extant research to improve educational outcomes, and

    (2) about increases in the faculty’s knowledge of their speciality subject matter through courses, independent study and internships or work in which their speciality subject matter is used.

    • Seriously? The only thing that matters is kicking some serious ass on the field, and drinking some post game brews on the roof.

    • SoFi

      1) Check the increase in SOL scores (school- and countywide) over the last decade. Extant research has been used extensively to increase WHS test scores across demographic groups.

      2) APS has a professional development program that encourages (actually, mandates) continuing education. Additionally, with increasing numbers of career-changers entering the system, subject matter expertise is likely higher than in recent memory. I know many of the faculty at WHS has extensive experience in their subject areas that predates their involvement in the public education system, particularly in time-sensitive fields like science.

      • bemused bystander

        “many … has”? Any expertise enhancements in grammar planned?

        • SoFi

          Alas, my proofreading skills suffer late at night. And regardless, APS cannot be blamed for my grammar skills, which were obtained in Maryland public schools.

  • Rafa

    What about the tennis courts? There’s huge cracks in the surface of every court with mounds of grass growing out of some of them. It’s pathetic to have home courts in that condition at a high school.

  • civil servant

    The facilities at Wakefield, when compared with W-L or Yorktown are abysmal. If North Arlington parents were told that they were getting a wonderful new school but they were stuck with a field overgrown, falling down (literally – as to the press box) and falling over and nonfunctioning (as to the scoreboard) there would be 400 comments in this section.

    As it stands you get ridiculous criticisms of the photos posted without actually knowing what the facility is like and functions like. Get a grip. It’s stupid to pay $118M to rehab the entire school and neglect the stadium and other fields and outdoor facilities.

    Wakefield HS is often ignored because the community is quiet and doesn’t badger, publicize or otherwise rant and rave on the internet – but it doesn’t mean that it’s right. Wakefield is a population of hard working parents and hard working teachers and students – this is a remarkable community that deserves attention for its achievements. The PTA worked collaboratively with the School Board to get these necessary repairs and improvements accomplished. And I’m thankful that the Board acknowledged this oversight.

    • SouthSide

      Amen, especially to your first paragraph. The inequities are ridiculous and, frankly, disgusting if you compare Wakefield’s sports facilities to W-L and Yorktown.

    • Here here

      Well put. I’m heartened to hear that Wakefield parents worked with the district for improvements, instead of threatening to sue them.

  • Fenix

    It’s a waste of money. Their sports aren’t the best anyway.
    Especially at wakefield it is a bad idea. I can see it now, they will build it and the kids there will mess it up.
    Like everything else new put there.

    • Wakefield Parent

      From where are you coming from, Fenix? Yeah, maybe you hope they save this money and spend it to do more upgrades on North Arlington Schools…?

    • Hank

      Does this comment exemplify the theories and predictions you come up with at 3:20 in the morning?

      • Fenix

        Yes, I purposely woke up at 3:20 with an instance of genius which happened to be that comment. Some of us do jave to wake up early to travel to work too.
        Im not saying they should use the money on North Arlington schools either.
        But like everything nice at Wakefield, it will be vandalized.

        • Wakefield Parent

          Fenix – you may now stop trolling… your statements about vandalism at Wakefield are totally false.

          • Unfortunately, not true. The art work that was presented by an
            artist and installed on the grassy area at the corner of Dinwiddie and Chesterfield lasted about two weeks before being knocked down. After a second attempt to install a modified piece and similar destruction, the effort was curtailed. Not a simple vandalism by any means but a very visible loss. There is a vandalism problem but the other high schools are not free of such actions.

          • Fenix

            Exactly. But its not as severe as at the other schools. Its less existent at Yorktown then others but still happens.
            I am in no way trolling nor trying to hurt your school pride buy the facts are the facts.
            I would appreciate it if you did check your facts before calling me a troll though.

          • Wakefield parent

            Fenix – Is it a known fact that a student/students did the damage to that art work? Your statement was as follows:
            “Especially at wakefield it is a bad idea. I can see it now, they will build it and the kids there will mess it up.
            Like everything else new put there.”

            Show me where a student/kid was charged with this vandalism & I’ll apologize for the troll remark – otherwise – it stands as is.

          • Fenix

            If police were to catch everyone committing or about to commit a crime means that we would live in a crime free world. But I highly doubt that police sit at the corner waiting to catch some kids messing something up.
            But wakefield has a history of good things going bad.

          • Jonathan Nateghi-Asli

            If I remember correctly the artwork in question was installed in 1990. Come on is this the basis of the theory that it will be vandalized?

          • Fenix

            Well I guess we can have our own opinions about.

          • Jonathan Nateghi-Asli

            Also we appreciate opinions that are based on facts. Let’s get the record straight 22 year old sculpture ruined in 2 weeks means it will happen now.

  • Any Arlington Resident

    The lights better not shine in my window!!!!!

    • nom de guerre

      North Arlington is the recipient of the Musco “Dark Sky” focused lighting system. LA (Lower Arlington/South Arlington) gets the streetcar with bells.

      • WeiQiang

        LA has CCR

  • April

    I live in the neighborhood. The new Wakefield H.S. was designed as a sports, recreation, entertainment education center, not a high school. I and neighbors are worried about traffic from everywhere overwhelming us. The people who made the planning decisions (as usual) live nowhere near Wakefield.

    • Wakefield Parent

      Guess what, April – I am a Wakefield partent – I was a member of the Building Level Planning Committee & I live in the Claremont neighborhood! Traffic will remain the same – most Wakefield student do not drive now and won’t drive to the new building. Not sure where you get the “not designed as a high school” theory from but unless you volunteered for the BLPC or attended the many information nights about the new highschool, or even attend the CCA meetings – I can see where you’d be misinformed.

      • southarlington


    • southarlington

      Then you needed to voice your concerns about it instead of talking about here….Some Claremont residents are thrilled with the new school and it is about time this new school was built it needed to be done a long time ago….

  • Cookie

    It’s just Wakefield. Come on…..

  • BW

    I also live in the neighborhood. Yep, it’s gonna be a mess. New mixed-use Wakefield will be a rec center for half of Fairfax County. Just like Barcroft, Fairlington, etc.

    • Wakefield Parent

      You’ve been hanging out with April I see??

      • Ted

        Give the neighborhood a break. It’s a suburb. not a regional rec center.

  • Wakefield parent

    Fenix – Since all you can do is make negative comments about Wakefield with absolutely no proof that the one act of vandalism cited was caused by students or kids – my statement about trolling stands. Would love to hear more from you but, since you have nothing of value to add to the discussion, we’re through here. It’s obviously very easy for you to make statements about Wakefield that have no basis in fact – Seems that you have some research to do yourself…

    • Fenix

      I didn’t know you were going to get but butthurt over something that wasn’t meant to hurt your feelings or school pride. Like I said, the rest of the schools have a problem too. Wakefield just happens to be worse.
      I think the funniest thing is that you think my opinion is going to make them change their minds about the money.
      Some, keep that word in mind, of the student population is just bent on being destructive. Its always been that way even when I was in high school.

  • ef yourself

    W-L, not W&L signed, a person that’s been corrected way too many times by bros that went to the university

  • I think that adding some lights to this court will complete it. Bright lights will allow them to play even during the night time.


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