College campus planned for Tysons Corner

Tysons Corner may get a college campus. Fairfax planners are in talks with Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University about expanding to Tysons Corner. School officials say the biggest draw is the new Metro silver line.

“It’s going to be one of the largest new communities--we're essentially building a city in the United States,” said Sharon Buloya, who chairs the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Planners said this new community would include public facilities such as fire stations and libraries as well as also higher education. Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University have been tapped to possibly come to Tysons.

School officials at George Mason said they've had conversations with local leaders about the project but it's a work in progress. While George Mason is still eying the possibility, NOVA President Templin says his school is ready to expand. Even with six campuses throughout the region, the community college is outgrowing its spaces -- so the next move is to identify another commuter-friendly site.

“People are looking for more convenient alternatives of learning options that are located where they work or where they live and Tysons is going to be a place where both are expanding,” said Robert Templin, Jr., president of Northern Virginia Community College. He called Tysons “a logical place to be looking” because of the planned Metro access.

The comprehensive plan for Tysons requires developers to include public facilities in their blueprints -- colleges and universities fall into that category.

Fairfax board chair Bulova said she knows some landowners are interested in redeveloping their property. Templin said the community college plans to start with a relatively small space, eventually hoping to expand to 125 thousand square feet.