Minnie Howard Reopens

City unveils new $190M ACHS facility.

Alexandria officials unveiled the new Alexandria City High School Minnie Howard Campus with a ribbon cutting ceremony May 29 at the facility on West Braddock Road.

The new $190 million project increases the capacity of the previous campus from 850 to 1,600 students.

“This is a generational investment, one that we will see and realize the benefit of for generations to come,” said Mayor Justin Wilson.

Located at 3801 W. Braddock Road, the original campus was built in 1954 to accommodate students from grades one to seven. The school closed in the early 1980s due to declining enrollment but later reopened as the ninth-grade campus for ACHS.

ACPS Superintendent Melanie Kay-Wyatt welcomes the crowd to the ribbon cutting for the new Alexandria City High School Minnie Howard campus May 29. 


“Today we open the doors to the future of the high school experience,” said ACPS Superintendent Melanie Kay-Wyatt. “The building expands our capacity to serve our students and offers us a unique opportunity to rethink our high school experience.”

The 343,000 square-foot building features state-of-the-art classrooms, a wrestling room, a main and auxiliary gymnasium, dedicated spaces for career and technical education, multiple collaborative common areas and a greenhouse.

In partnership with the City of Alexandria, the facility also offers early childhood education, a teen wellness facility, student and family resource centers, and an aquatic facility with a regulation-length pool.

The school includes both gender-neutral bathrooms as well as separate men’s and women’s facilities.

Students will begin classes in the new facility on Aug. 19, which also marks the beginning of the Academies at Alexandria City model, which allows students to engage in small learning communities and foster life, college and career readiness.

The model consists of six academic academies for the 2024-25 school year including the science, technology, engineering and math academy, a business and government academy, the education, liberal arts and human services academy, the visual, performing and applied arts academy, a global studies academy and a general studies academy.

The ACHS campuses will function as a connected network of schools in which students can move between sites depending on schedule and academy focus.

A second phase of the Minnie Howard project will add athletics facilities and tennis courts to the campus.

Alexandria City High opened in 1965 as T.C. Williams High School. Originally named after former ACPS superintendent Thomas Chambliss Williams, it was renamed Alexandria City High School in 2021.

“Our public schools are a public good,” said School Board chair Michelle Rief. “Today’s young people will be tomorrow’s leaders solving tomorrow’s problems and this amazing learning space will prepare them to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.”