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UMW President Rick Hurley (sixth from left), Rick Pearce (fourth from left), vice president for finance and facilities, and other UMW and UMW Foundation officials break ground Friday for the Hyatt Place hotel at Eagle Village.
LINDLEY ESTES/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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BY LINDLEY ESTES
Members of the foundation, the UMW board of visitors, administration and staff, and representatives of Mary Washington Healthcare gathered at the site of the hotel and the dedication of Eagle Village Drive, the newly constructed road connecting Eagle Village to Mary Washington Hospital.
Rountree called the ongoing Eagle Village project in Fredericksburg the essence of good urban renewal.
"This is another piece in a very large puzzle we'll be working on for years," he said.
Pamela White, rector of the board of visitors, said the event is "an occasion all of us have been eager to dig into."
Preparation for the hotel project began in mid-July with the demolition of vacant buildings between the Giant food store and Eagle Village Drive.
The hotel will include 93 studio rooms or suites, several meeting rooms and 24-hour food and beverage service for guests. It will also have an indoor pool, a fitness center and about 1,400 square feet of retail space.
The hotel is expected to open in fall 2013.
Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw said Eagle Village fits perfectly into the city's economic development goals.
In addition to creating jobs, the hotel will "contribute significantly to the resources available to our staff in the tourism and economic development offices as they seek to promote the city of Fredericksburg as a first-class tourist and meeting destination," she said.
The ceremony was one of several at UMW this week. The university held a re-dedication ceremony for the renovated Randolph and Mason residence halls on Friday.
On Thursday UMW officials celebrated starting construction of the Information and Technology Convergence Center next to Simpson Library. The center is set to open in fall 2014.
Lindley Estes: 540/735-1976