Northern Virginia Community College, which has a campus in Annandale, is in the early stages of seeking approval to build dorms at the college’s Alexandria campus.
Bob Calhoun, president of the Northern Virginia Community College Educational Foundation and a former member of Alexandria City Council, told Patch that the college hasn’t developed specific housing plans, including what the dorms might look like. The college is considering building housing on what is currently a large parking lot on the campus’ back end, near King Street, he said.
Donald Kohl, director of operations for Alexandria campus, said the college is looking at building about 300 residential units.
“We are in the preliminary stages of discussing whether that’s going to be on or off campus,” Kohl said. “We have discussed several locations, but it has not been defined where the housing would be.”
To proceed with the project, the college must first create a corporate entity, which is awaiting approval in Richmond, Calhoun said. Then, college facilities staff must help determine the specifics of the project, which the state board of the community college system must approve.
The college also plans to consult with Alexandria residents who live near the campus.
“People in that area are understandably sensitive about development in that area,” Calhoun said. “They just need to be clued in about what’s going on, and we’re going to do that.”
The college originally intended dorms to be for foreign students, but when it conducted a survey, officials found U.S. students were also interested in living on campus, Calhoun said.
If dorms are built, the Alexandria campus would be the first community college in the state to house students on campus, Calhoun said. “In that sense, we’re pioneering something,” he said. “… It’s not a novel idea. It’s just novel for a community college.”
The Alexandria campus offers academic programs, continuing education classes, events and campus facilities to more than 17,000 students each year, according to the campus website.
This would be the first community college campus in Virginia to offer housing to students.
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