T.C. Williams Meets Gold Standard


The results are in and the design for the new T.C. Williams High School has exceeded previous expectations.

Last Thursday, school leaders were presented with a green-hued glass plaque commemorating the schools achievement of the LEED Gold standard in environmentally friendly building practices. Originally, T.C. had been designed to make the Silver benchmark for design, one step below Gold in the feature-oriented rating system.

However, those initial plans for the school which opened to students in September 2007 and was finished this year combined with the recycling-heavy construction effort and the resulting structure proved more successful than anticipated, making the new T.C. the first high school in Virginia to be LEED Gold-certified and only the second in the country, according to ACPS.

Seven years after the initial meetings and a design and construction process that has been both innovative and responsive, the dream that was a new T.C. Williams High School has become a reality, said Mark Burke, ACPS director of planning and construction.

The project has been feted for its processes and its features at the state, regional and national levels. Receiving the LEED Gold certification is the capstone achievement, he added, referring to the school being featured in several publications for its green design.

Burke praised the efforts of Alexandrians for a Green T.C., which set in motion the push for the new campus seven years ago.

The fruits of their labor and others is a school featuring a special cistern for non-potable water, a parking garage, a 10,000 square foot vegetated roof to manage storm water, the recycling of about 94 percent of construction and demolition waste and now LEED Gold-certified recognition.