The University of Mary Washington is opening its third campus on Jan. 3.

UMW’s Dahlgren Campus Center for Education and Research off U.S. 301 in King George County will have graduate-level courses in science, technology, engineering and math.

It will host the science and engineering programs currently offered by state schools at Naval Support Facility Dahlgren, according to a UMW press release.

“This is a natural partnership for UMW,” said the university’s President Rick Hurley. “We have literally hundreds of alumni working at the NSF, and many of our faculty members have been affiliated with Dahlgren. Being in even closer physical proximity, we look forward to many more opportunities to share ideas and resources.”

The Naval Postgraduate School and four state universities—Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth, George Mason and Old Dominion—will offer graduate engineering classes starting in January.

Graduate and undergraduate courses in science, technology and math will be made available depending on demand.

Mark Safferstone, executive director of the Dahlgren campus, anticipates around 250 to 300 students when the spring semester starts next month.

“It’s really going to expand the accessibility and the availability of high-caliber  degree program options for the people in this region,” he said.

The $20.4 million, 42,000-square-foot building has 19 classrooms, a conference room and a divisible 2,800-square-foot multipurpose room with theater seating for up to 220 and instructional seating for up to 160.

It is two stories, with a vegetative roof and other environmental-friendly features.

Another building with additional parking is planned for the Dahlgren campus’s second phase, but it’s unclear when construction will start.

UMW opened its second campus, off U.S. 17 in Stafford County, in 1999. The school’s main campus is in Fredericksburg.

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​Jeff Branscome: 540.374-5402 

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