The University of Mary Washington’s Dahlgren campus isn’t "simply another construction project or a new academic building" for the school, UMW President Rick Hurley said yesterday.
It will serve the region, state and country, he said.
"The Dahlgren campus will provide a new, technology-rich venue for graduate-level science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs to serve the needs of the military and the region’s many defense-related contractors," Hurley said.
He and others spoke yesterday at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Dahlgren Campus, Center for Education and Research. Among those in attendance were Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Montross, former state Sen. John Chichester and members of the King George County Board of Supervisors.
The $20.4 million, 40,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open in January 2012, Hurley said.
The two-story building’s features will include a roof with vegetation and a 3,300-square-foot conference room with a catering kitchen.
UMW is partnering with five other state schools–the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University, George Mason University and Old Dominion University.
The university purchased 27 acres along U.S. 301–next to Naval Support Facility Dahlgren–for its third campus. The school’s main campus is in Fredericksburg, and it also has a Stafford County location.
The King George site can accommodate at least one more facility, Hurley said.
Naval Support Activity South Potomac Cmdr. Dennis Quick said everyone would benefit from the center, "but especially the Navy."
Hurley said the presence of an academic facility protects the Dahlgren naval base from future closings related to the Base Realignment and Closure process.
UMW Rector Daniel Steen said the campus’s offerings would provide programs to "promote economic development and to bolster our national defense efforts."
"Moving forward and into the future, we believe that the center will grow and develop in creative and innovative ways to serve the changing needs of the region, the state and the nation," Steen said.