September 21, 2023

Groundbreaking for Dahlgren Campus Scheduled

With construction of its Dahlgren campus getting under way, the University of Mary Washington will celebrate the project’s start with a public groundbreaking ceremony at the King George County site on Friday, September 17 at 5 p.m.

Work recently began on the university’s third campus—called the UMW Dahlgren Campus, Center for Education and Research—and the university hopes to welcome students to the planned $20.4 million, first building in 2012. Located just outside the Naval Support Facility (NSF) Dahlgren, the Dahlgren campus is intended to meet the advanced educational needs of professionals employed on and near the Navy base.

The two-story, 40,000-square-foot academic building is slated for construction near U.S. 301 about 30 miles east of the university’s Fredericksburg campus. UMW also operates a Stafford campus near Fredericksburg.

The 27-acre Dahlgren campus will serve as an anchor—and UMW as the leadership institution—for development of educational and research partnerships involving the Navy base, Virginia higher education institutions and the region’s employers. The campus will centralize graduate science and engineering programs currently offered by state colleges on the naval base. It also will provide a site for research, workforce training and additional educational offerings, as demand dictates.

“UMW believes its Center for Education and Research in Dahlgren will support the region’s economic development and long-term growth,” said UMW President Richard V. Hurley. “The Dahlgren education center will provide the physical infrastructure needed for advancement of the area’s highly skilled workforce. It will facilitate research that fosters entrepreneurial opportunities, and it will encourage innovation and collaboration.”

The academic partners teaming up with UMW are five state universities—George Mason, Old Dominion, Virginia Commonwealth, Virginia Tech, and University of Virginia—plus the Naval Postgraduate School and Germanna and Rappahannock community colleges.

Academic and credentialing programs will be available to individuals with access to the Navy base as well as the general population and employees of local contractors, government agencies and schools. Graduate and undergraduate programs in science, engineering, technology, mathematics and other fields will be offered, depending on demand. Noncredit programs and services will be delivered on an as-needed basis.

The first building will feature 21 classrooms with seating capacities ranging up to 40 or more. Also in the plans are a research computer lab, group study rooms, videoconferencing capabilities and a 3,200-square-foot multipurpose room with seating for more than 300 and a catering kitchen. Parking for 325 vehicles will be included.

The building will have state-of-the-art instructional technology and wireless access throughout. Environmentally friendly features, such as a vegetative roof and geothermal heating and cooling, will be included. UMW plans to seek a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver building rating.

The building design will be flexible, with large, central open spaces containing group and quiet study areas, collaboration areas, lounges and breakout rooms. The facilities will be available for lease for public and private events. An additional building and expanded parking are proposed as part of a second phase.

The construction manager is Kjellstrom+Lee Construction, and the architectural firm is Burt, Hill.

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.


  1. Is there ARRA funding for this?