EducationLocalWilliam J. Ford

Virginia Tech Announces New Site in Northern Virginia

Virginia Tech officials announced a new site in Alexandria for its $1 billion Innovation campus Monday, just blocks from the previous location in the same neighborhood.

The university will partner with a new developer, Houston-based Lionstone Investments, to construct the 1 million-square-foot campus in the northern portion of Potomac Yard.

“We have the right people, the right time and this is certainly the right place,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands during a news conference. “We plan to integrate the campus into the fabric of Alexandria and to be part of the energy and spirit that makes this community successful and unique.”

The 15-acre campus also sits near the future second headquarters of Amazon and about a quarter-mile away from two Metro stations at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Crystal City.

To entice Amazon to build a second headquarters in Northern Virginia, the state will commit $250 million that will be matched by the university.

The university announced in March that it canceled a memorandum of understanding with Stonebridge Associates to construct at a location to the south of Potomac Yard.

The first 100 graduate students plan to enroll in the fall of 2020, but it’s undetermined exactly where. Approximately 750 master’s candidates and hundreds of doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows are scheduled to enroll in the next decade.

During the news conference, officials said the new campus would triple the university’s footprint in Northern Virginia, where 60,000 alumni reside along with seven places of university operations in the area.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) joked that Monday’s announcement ranks second in  Virginia Tech history behind when the school joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2004 during his time as governor.

“It ended up being a good, long-term investment,” he said of the ACC move. “One thing we’ve always lacked in Northern Virginia … is we have not had a world-class research facility the Innovation campus will produce. The innovation that will be created on this campus will be a great benefit for the whole commonwealth and the whole nation.”

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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