Virginia Tech Innovation Campus Celebrates Construction Milestones

The school broke ground in 2021 and will open its first Academic Building in 2024

One of Alexandria’s biggest development projects continues on pace, as the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus (VTIC) celebrated several milestones this past year. The latest was a “topping out” ceremony in February 2023, in which a steel beam was lifted to mark the highest point of the first academic building, which will reach 11 stories. The building is expected to open in fall 2024. 

First announced as part of the deal that helped bring Amazon’s HQ2 to Northern Virginia, the new 3.5-acre Virginia Tech Innovation Campus will provide unique graduate-level technology education that unites academia and industry.  When completed, the $1 billion, 600,000-square-foot campus will graduate 750 master’s students and host more than 100 doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows each year, providing talent to fill crucial job roles throughout the region.  

Located just south of Reagan National Airport, VTIC is located in Alexandria’s portion of National Landing, near the site of the new Potomac Yard Metrorail Station.  

“The Innovation Campus is Alexandria’s most important workforce and development project,” said Stephanie Landrum, AEDP president and CEO. “It will define Potomac Yard and National Landing, it will help us attract likeminded companies while growing our workforce, and it will keep the region at the forefront of technology and innovation.”

The first academic building will include a 3,000-square-foot 200-person classroom or 355-person auditorium, 14 classrooms, a cyber physical lab and two-story drone testing cage, three instructional studios for online learning and teaching, a roof deck on the eighth floor for up to 300 people, 32 huddle rooms, a 169-space underground parking garage, and eight electric vehicle charging stations.  

Virginia Tech opened its Innovation Campus headquarters in 2021 adjacent to the future campus. This location houses executive offices and a café-style area for student and community engagement. The first Innovation Campus class of about 75 graduate students started in fall 2020 and graduated in May 2023. Now, there are about 250 students, who attend classes at Virginia Tech’s Falls Church location while the new campus is being constructed. 

Virginia’s Tech Talent Investment Program — which aims to graduate at least 25,000 new bachelor’s and master’s students in computer science and related fields over the next 20 years — will provide half the funding for the VTIC project, while Virginia Tech will raise the remaining funds. 

Fundraising is well underway, and the project has already received several major gifts. Boeing became the first foundational partner, committing $50 million to jump-start the program. According to Virginia Tech, Boeing’s commitment will provide student scholarships and fund STEM pathway programs for underserved K–12 students, while also supporting the recruitment of world-class faculty and researchers.   

In 2022, with the official announcement that they would move their headquarters to nearby Arlington, Boeing also announced the creation of the Boeing Center for Veteran Transition & Military Families, a new hub for veterans and their families that will be housed in VTIC’s first academic building. The center will provide career resources and other support for military families as they transition to civilian life. 

VTIC also received a $12.5 million commitment from Northrop Grumman to support research and teaching in quantum information science and engineering. VTIC plans to invest an additional $15.8 million to establish the Center of Quantum Architecture and Software Development in Alexandria.  

In the rapidly growing field of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, Virginia Tech is partnering with Amazon to create the Amazon-Virginia Tech Initiative for Efficient and Robust Machine Learning. The initiative will be explored both at the Virginia Tech Blacksburg campus and at VTIC.