The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted last year to modify Tysons Corner so that it better resembles a city. Part of that plan includes the desire to attract higher education. Stock Photo

Several schools in the Washington metropolitan area are discussing expanding within Tysons Corner. Currently, preliminary talks are underway at George Mason University regarding the feasibility of opening an expansion at Tysons Corner.

Several businesses have approached Mason about opening a location at the heavily-trafficked business hub, said Daniel Walsch, Mason’s press secretary.
Walsch said Mason would rent space at Tysons Corner if the talks were to yield any kind of plan.

“There would be cost involved [with renting],” Walsch said. “All of those things have to be budgeted for. There would have to be some kind of cost-benefit analysis because this would cost money, and we’d have to see what kind of interest [from] potential students.”

Mason is not the only school that has been approached. According to an April 19 TBD story, Northern Virginia Community College is looking at expanding to Tysons Corner. A NOVA facility in Tysons Corner would be its 11th location in the area.

If tapped to open a facility in Tysons Corner, NOVA would start with a small space that could grow to as much as 125,000 square feet, according to the TBD story.

Walsch said there is no timetable for the Tysons Corner expansion, with only “very preliminary talks occurring within the university.”

The talks come at a time when contractors are working on the Dulles Metrorail Project, which will connect Washington to Dulles Airport and Tysons Corner. The first phase of the project will be finished with revenue service up and running by late 2013, according to the Metro website.

Tysons Corner is now working under a 20-year plan passed in June 2010 by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to turn the sprawling business district into a walkable city, according to a Washington Post article. While the plan will not convert Tysons Corner to a municipality, it will become even more of a community than it is now.

The development plan for Tysons Corner requires developers to include space for public facilities. Colleges and universities fall into that category, according to the TBD story. Other public services that will be installed include fire stations and libraries.

Other plans currently being discussed to expand Mason include a campus in Loudoun County.

“We’ve requested planning money from the state,” Walsch said. “It’s a priority for us. The money was denied this year.”

Walsch said groundbreaking in Loudoun County was years away, so the specifics as to what purpose the campus would serve are not available.

“Right now we offer classes [in Loudoun County] in rented office space,” Walsch said. “We’d be looking to cater to thousands of students. It would perhaps be a campus the size of the Prince William campus. We really want to grow and be a significant presence in that part of the region.”