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Alexandria’s Campagna Center Building Goes Under Contract Making Way for New Old Town Condos

The 17,000 square foot Campagna Center sits on land George Washington dedicated to Alexandria for educational purposes, and which has been used for schooling continuously since 1812. (Courtesy photo)

J. Smith Companies has put under contract 418 South Washington Street, which has housed The Campagna Center since the 1980s.

The plan is to renovate the building and convert it to condominiums with perhaps a small bit of retail, but that is still to be determined.

The Campagna Center had gone on record many times in the last few years sharing they may need to sell to better utilize their resources and serve the community in more updated facilities, and a more convenient location for the hundreds of families they serve.

Over 2,000 children and families use services at The Campagna Center from early childhood education to English as a Second Language for adults. (Photo: The Campagna Center)

The Campagna Center goes back to 1945 when it was an Alexandria offshoot of the YWCA.  According to their literature, the program provided the only place where women of all ages, regardless of race or creed, could gather for social activities that promoted “leadership, morale, and inspiration.” In the fifties, the center was at the forefront of the fight for civil liberties and racial equality.

It was in the sixties that the group started hitting its stride, when Elizabeth Campagna became director and secured funding from Alexandria to start the City’s first Head Start program. A decade later came Campagna Kids, which helped families with quality after-school care.

In the eighties they bought the building where they are now, on land George Washington dedicated to Alexandria for educational purposes, and it was in 1991 they renamed the program The Campagna Center, soon after the passing of Elizabeth Campagna.

With the addition of a middle school program in 2012, The Campagna Center stands as the only nonprofit in Alexandria serving children across the education spectrum, from birth through high school.

Today, with Dr. Tammy L. Mann at the helm and almost 200 staff members, 25 board members, and more than 750 volunteers dedicated to the well-being of Alexandria’s children and families, Ms. Campagna’s legacy lives on, but soon will do so at a new location.


Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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