The Virginia Tech Innovation Campus has a growing team of leaders – and a new Alexandria location for them to work and engage with the community.

Earlier this year, Innovation Campus HQ opened at 3000 Potomac Avenue on the ground level of the National Industries for the Blind building – just a few blocks away from where its permanent campus will be located in North Potomac Yard. The 5,700-square-foot headquarters houses a variety of unique elements, from individual office spaces to flexible open areas that can be reconfigured for multiple uses.

Campus leaders working in the space include Lance Collins, vice president and executive director of the Innovation Campus; Ken Smith, chief operating officer; Robin Jones, assistant vice president for Innovation Campus student services; Natalie Hart, associate vice president for advancement, greater Washington, D.C., metro area; and David Baker, director of local government and community affairs in the D.C. area.

A key feature of the Innovation HQ is a work cafe, which has booths and tables for individual or group work and a long bar table facing the first-floor windows.

“It’s perfectly set up for remote work and telework purposes,” said Liza Morris, assistant vice president for planning and university architect. “This is the kind of space that we might want to create on campus.”

Rooms for small group meetings, also called huddle rooms, and a few conference spaces and traditional offices round out the headquarters. There also are lockers that can be assigned temporarily or long-term for individual storage.

Alexandria headquarters for  Innovation Campus

“It's energizing to work in the new Innovation Campus HQ, just blocks away from where we will break ground this summer on our first campus building,” Collins said. “The design is ideal for small-group engagement, and we can’t wait to welcome our students and community partners to experience it.”

Virginia Tech is leasing the HQ space while the permanent campus is built.

The Innovation Campus will make its home on 3.5 acres in the first phase of a new mixed-use development and innovation district JBG Smith is developing near the future Potomac Yard Metrorail Station. Infrastructure work on the site began earlier this year and construction on the first campus building will start later this year. The building’s design has earned rave reviews from community leaders.

The new metro station, already under construction, will bear Virginia Tech’s initials. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has approved the metro station’s name as Potomac Yard - VT.

It’s a major win for Virginia Tech and comes at perfect timing for the Innovation Campus’ development, said Baker. “For students and interested parties who want to learn more about what the Innovation Campus has to offer, they will be able to step off the train and see it right there,” he said.

Having Virginia Tech represented on the Metro map at both the Innovation Campus in Alexandria and in Falls Church, where the university’s Northern Virginia Center campus is located, is good for the greater Washington, D.C., area.

“The metro map is one of the most visible regional symbols that we have here,” Baker said. “Having Virginia Tech on the map just speaks to the educated workforce that we have in the region and the diverse talent. It’s important for visitors as well as for companies that are interested in potentially relocating and opening new offices in the region. We know that access to talent is a huge driver.”

People work in the Innovation Campus space