Alexandria, VA

Virginia Tech has released drawings of what its first of three academic buildings will look like.

“This project is a bellwether for what we are trying to achieve through our new campus, creating a place that provides the space and environment to foster collaboration and the creation of bold new ideas,” said Lance Collins, the incoming vice president and executive director of the Innovation Campus, said in a statement.

Construction on the 300,000 square-foot building is planned to begin next year and open to computer science students in 2024. The 9-10 story building will be built to LEED Silver certification, and dolomite limestone — also known as Hokie Stone from the college’s campus in Blacksburg — is being considered for the base.

The building was designed by architect SmithGroup and Virginia Tech to take advantage of solar power energy, and features a number of glass and metal panels, terraces and open space. The ground floor and lobby will include exhibits and look out on green space, and it will provide office, classrooms, multi-purpose areas and research and testing labs, according to Virginia Tech.

“We are proud to be working with Virginia Tech on this transformational new campus, which will change the face of computer science and redefine the role of the land-grant university for the 21st century,” said David Johnson of SmithGroup in a statement. “The university’s goal is to re-center computer engineering in a humanist context, and we brought to life an inclusive setting that will help accelerate knowledge creation and solutions at the intersection of humanity and technology.”

The first phase of the $1 billion campus will see construction of three academic buildings dedicated to computer science research and development programs at Alexandria’s border with Arlington. The permanent campus will take up four acres and accommodate 750 computer science master’s degree students per year and more than 100 doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows.

The property also neighbors the North Potomac Yard redevelopment, which includes the construction of the Potomac Yard Metro Station, a new elementary school and a number of buildings.

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