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The City of Fredericksburg Community Guide

Fredericksburg overview

The city of Fredericksburg sits at the fall line of the Rappahannock River.

Centered between Washington and Richmond (about 50 miles from each), it serves as the hub of a region that includes fast-growing Stafford and Spotsylvania counties.

In the 40-block Historic District downtown, the land rising from the riverbank is dotted with historic homes and tree-shaded residential neighborhoods.

The city's downtown business center is Caroline Street, which is also home to a variety of shops and restaurants.

Central Park on State Route 3 is the city's largest retailer and includes a variety of major big box stores, along with major restaurant chains and other retailers.

Lafayette Upper Elementary School fourth grader Levar Grubb works on a writing project using an Acer tablet in teacher Maureen Ballard's class on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. (Peter Cihelka/The Free Lance-Star)

FREDERICKSBURG CITY SCHOOLS

There are four schools in Fredericksburg: two elementary schools, one middle and one high school.

Hugh Mercer Elementary has kindergarten through second grade and Lafayette Upper Elementary School has third through fifth grade, students.

In the fall of 2013, there were 3,457 students in the city school system.

The high school’s football team has competed for a state title five times.

This year, all four schools in the city were fully accredited.

Hugh Mercer Elementary is undergoing an expansion to make accommodate the growing population.

When the elementary school opened in 1968, it was built to house between 800 and 825 students. Enrollment last year was 885 students and by 2017, it’s expected to grow to 927 students.

Fredericksburg real estate

The city of Fredericksburg is the inner core of the region, and the source of much of the area’s identity.

Downtown Fredericksburg is a picturesque spot that includes restaurants, boutique stores, a train station, the University of Mary Washington, an active arts scene, the local government center and numerous parks including one along the Rappahannock River. Integrated into this mix are densely clustered, century-old residences that range from modest to grand in a wide variety of architectural styles.

Some of the city’s priciest and nicest homes are along Washington Avenue, and Caroline and Hanover streets downtown. As has occurred in many communities throughout the U.S. of late, many area residents are choosing to move downtown for its walkable and convenient lifestyle.

That is leading to more condominium and townhouse projects getting built downtown, and more restaurants opening to cater to the new arrivals. Outside downtown in the city are newer, suburban-style neighborhoods such as Idlewild and The Preserve at Smith Run.

Fredericksburg transportation

The city is pigeon-holed between a pair of growing counties in Stafford and Spotsylvania. The drastic growth in each of those counties over the past decade has caused big traffic problems in those localities. But the traffic problems have also hit the city.

The commuter rush often causes jams on Fredericksburg roads, including Fall Hill Avenue and Lafayette Boulevard.

Fall Hill will be closed most of 2014 while the Rappahannock Canal Bridge is torn down and rebuilt (click here for details from the city). Following that work, a widening project will soon follow.

A Lafayette Boulevard project is set to get a roundabout, which is being done not to help with traffic but to allow for residential and commercial growth.

Traffic in the city should improve as a result of the Rappahannock River Crossing project, as part of those plans call for improvements at the I-95 exit at Route 3, where Central Park is.

Central Park, located where Route 3 and Interstate 95 intersect, is Fredericksburg's major shopping destination.(File/The Free Lance-Star)

Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg is the retail hub of the region, with Central Park and Celebrate Virginia South (home to a Wegmans grocery store) attracting shoppers from all over the area. Celebrate Virginia could get a boost soon with the arrival of the Hagerstown Suns, a Class-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals that plan to build a new minor league stadium in time for the 2015 season.

The Suns are partnering on the venture with New Jersey-based Diamond Nation, which wants to build an amateur baseball complex next to the stadium for travel team tournaments and camps. There are also additional retail developments along State Route 3 in the city. Mary Washington Hospital is the largest hospital in the region, and numerous medical offices and supporting retail surround the complex.

The University of Mary Washington has been transforming the U.S. 1 corridor in the city with its Eagle Village complex, which includes an attractive pedestrian bridge over U.S. 1 connecting to campus, a Hyatt Place hotel, a hospital connector road and student apartments.

Downtown Fredericksburg is home to the city’s central business district and government center as well as century-old residences and the University of Mary Washington’s main campus. The city is a HUBZone, allowing it to attract federal contractors interested in that program.

Fredericksburg news feed

Ice Bucket Challenge at Dixon Pool on Wednesday

Here's your chance to take part in the Ice Bucket Challenge that has taken hold across the nation. ... Sep 02 in City Beat.

Carlos O’Kelly’s restaurant shuts doors

BY PAMELA GOULD / THE FREE LANCE–STARLabor Day marked the end of nearly three decades of service for ... Sep 01 in The News Desk.

Traffic signal work Tuesday at Lafayette and Blue Gray Pkway

Drivers are cautioned to watch for work on the traffic signals on Tuesday at the intersection of the ... Sep 01 in City Beat.

Carlos O'Kelly's at Gateway Village has closed

UPDATE: BY PAMELA GOULD THE FREE LANCE–STAR Labor Day marked the end of nearly three decades of ... Sep 01 in City Beat.

Fire department responds to kitchen fire in city

  The Fredericksburg Fire Department responded to a fire Saturday afternoon on Meade Court, ... Aug 30 in The News Desk.

City police investigate burglary attempts near UMW

BY KEITH EPPS / THE FREE LANCE–STAR Fredericksburg police are trying to identify a young man who en ... Aug 29 in The News Desk.

'Lucky' and other pets await your love at local shelters

Lucky is a fawn-colored Jindo male with a curious, intelligent personality. He is friendly, playful ... Aug 29 in Pet Dish.

Made in FredVA competition kicking off

BY LINDLEY ESTES / THE FREE LANCE-STARApplications for the second annual Made in FredVA business sta ... Aug 28 in The News Desk.

Tax exemption off table in baseball negotiations

BY PAMELA GOULD / THE FREE LANCE–STAR Fredericksburg Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw said this week’s ... Aug 28 in The News Desk.

Construction on southbound Falmouth Bridge today

Southbound U.S. 1 will be reduced to a single travel lane over the Falmouth Bridge between Stafford ... Aug 28 in City Beat.

Video of Diamond Nation operations

At Tuesday's City Hall meetings, the owners and operators of Diamond Nation, showed a video to give ... Aug 28 in City Beat.

Tight timeframe on business deal

ONLINE EXTRA: Check out video of Diamond Nation operations. BY PAMELA GOULD / THE FREE LANCE-STAR ... Aug 27 in The News Desk.

Area math SOL numbers better

BY JEFF BRANSCOME / THE FREE LANCE–STAR Most school systems in the Fredericksburg area improved sco ... Aug 27 in The News Desk.

A new deadline approaches for Fredericksburg baseball

The countdown begins again today for a decision on professional baseball in Fredericksburg. The m ... Aug 27 in City Beat.

Baseball partners seek 'win-win' deal with city

Diamond Nation owner Jack Cust (left) and president Keith Dilgard address the Fredericksburg City C ... Aug 27 in The News Desk.

La Rosetta restaurant to open downtown

BY LINDLEY ESTES / THE FREE LANCE-STARThe Chimneys, the historic house at 623 Caroline St., will onc ... Aug 26 in The News Desk.

Poll: Should Fredericksburg move forward with the baseball stadium proposal?

The Fredericksburg City Council is scheduled to act today on a revised proposal for the baseball sta ... Aug 26 in City Beat.

Baseball deal in question

ONLINE EXTRA: Take our poll. Weigh in on whether the project should proceed. BY PAMELA GOULD / THE ... Aug 25 in The News Desk.

Vehicle occupants assaulted in Fredericksburg

BY KEITH EPPS / THE FREE LANCE–STAR Fredericksburg police are investigating two incidents over the ... Aug 25 in The News Desk.

Council moves baseball work session to larger space for possible crowd

The Fredericksburg City Council has moved the location of Tuesday's work session on the stadium prop ... Aug 25 in City Beat.

You could put Harmony in your home with a cat adoption

Harmony is a 4-year-old with tuxedo markings. She's a bit shy at first but warms up quickly and enj ... Aug 22 in Pet Dish.

Fredericksburg doing work on Heritage Trail

Fredericksburg staff will be doing maintenance on the Heritage Trail between Princess Anne and Carol ... Aug 20 in City Beat.

Hit-and-run account being investigated

BY KEITH EPPS / THE FREE LANCE–STAR Fredericksburg police are investigating a man’s claim that a Je ... Aug 19 in The News Desk.

Aircraft support firm opening here

BY LINDLEY ESTES / THE FREE LANCE–STAR Breeze–Eastern announced plans this week to open a research ... Aug 19 in The News Desk.

Watch for utility work along Chatham Bridge starting Tuesday

Motorists should be on the lookout for utility work and people with flags along the Chatham Bridge s ... Aug 18 in City Beat.