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Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington opens to expand capability for scientific inquiry, extend university footprint in National Capital Region


Steger, Moran, Bohland, and Zimmerman cut the ribbon Cutting the ribbon at Virginia Tech Research Center -- Arlington are left to right, Charles W. Steger, Jim Moran, Jim Bohland, and Chris Zimmerman.

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION, June 29, 2011 – Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington has opened its doors at 900 North Glebe Road in the Ballston area of Arlington, Va., as a nucleus for discovery to expand the university's capability for new scientific inquiry and to extend Virginia Tech's footprint in the National Capital Region

In close proximity to government agencies and other public and private-sector organizations, the location offers great opportunity for partnerships with corporate research entities. At the recent ribbon cutting ceremony, Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger said that in exploring location options for the research center, “We determined unequivocally that this is where we wanted to be.”

“We are very excited and happy to officially open this new state-of-the-art Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington,” Steger told the crowd of more than 100 people who attended the ribbon cutting ceremony. “While Virginia Tech has long had a teaching and research presence in northern Virginia, this facility allows us to take that next important step in research by affording us the opportunity to house many of our researchers in northern Virginia under one roof.

“Working together and in close proximity with private industry and federal agencies, we will create new synergies that will further catalyze new research and new solutions to the most complex problems of the 21st century,” Steger said.

Congressman Jim Moran and Chris Zimmerman, chair of the Arlington County Board,  also spoke at the opening event. Jim Bohland, vice president and executive director of Virginia Tech National Capital Region Operations, served as master of ceremonies. 

“Today is a celebration of Virginia Tech’s decision to invest in the future,” said Moran, who was credited during the program with supporting and encouraging the university to locate in Arlington. Referring to the new research facility as a “center of excellence,” Moran said, “It will pay substantial dividends to Virginia Tech in its commitment to become one of the leading research institutions in the world.”  Moran also noted the importance of continued federal funding to support research beneficial “not just for ourselves, but for our children and grandchildren."

Representing Arlington, Zimmerman welcomed Virginia Tech to its new home. "Arlington County is pleased to welcome the Virginia Tech Research Center to the Ballston neighborhood – home to the nation’s greatest concentration of scientific research agencies. Nationally, this new research facility will significantly enhance the scientific research and innovation being conducted by our nation’s major research agencies," Zimmerman said. "Locally, the building itself will serve as an important piece of a new and impressive gateway to Ballston and the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor."  

The seven floor, 144,000-square-foot Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington is U.S. Green Council LEED-certified. The exterior of the building was designed by Cooper Carry to include exhibit space, an outdoor terrace restaurant, and abundant green space.

The west lobby wall and the elevator banks on the second floor are constructed with Virginia Tech's stone of tradition – familiarly and affectionately known as Hokie Stone. Since the mid-1950s, the university has mined this distinguishing limestone at its own quarry on the fringes of the university's main campus in Blacksburg. In addition to the iconic Burruss Hall, every building around the campus Drillfield uses the material. 

The interior, designed by Gensler, includes computational laboratories, offices, and a conference center to accommodate meetings, forums, symposia, and other events. The second floor conference center is available to the science and technology communities throughout the region for meetings and events not specifically related to the university. Two of seven floors in the building not occupied by Virginia Tech are available for commercial lease. 

Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington is among the best connected research facilities in the world.  It incorporates next-generation Internet with direct fiber access to National LambdaRail, Internet 2, and multiple federal networks. High-performance connectivity links this research center to Virginia Tech’s main campus in Blacksburg, as well as to other major universities. The network provides access to international peering points in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Florida, and the building includes a secure data center for high performance computing (HPC)-based research.

A number of already established Virginia Tech research centers and institutes, previously located throughout the northern Virginia area, have moved to the new facility. These include the Advanced Research Center, the Center for Geospatial Information Technology, the Center for Society, Culture and Environment, the Center for Technology, Security and Policy, and the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute,

The Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington is supported by the Virginia Tech Foundation which has developed other Virginia Tech facilities in the National Capital Region, including the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg and the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center in Alexandria.

Virginia Tech has fostered a growing partnership with the greater metropolitan Washington, D.C., community since 1969. Today, the university’s presence in the National Capital Region includes graduate programs and research centers in Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Leesburg, Manassas, and Middleburg. In addition to supporting the university’s teaching and research mission, Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region has established collaborations with local and federal agencies, businesses, and other institutions of higher education. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.