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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

VDOT road work in Fredericksburg this week on Route 3 and US 1

The Virginia Department of Transportation will be doing the following work in Fredericksburg this we ... Sep 15 in City Beat.

Design firm seeking ways to reduce park cost

BY PAMELA GOULD / THE FREE LANCE–STAR The initial cost estimate for Fredericksburg’s Riverfront Par ... Sep 10 in The News Desk.

Fredericksburg Council approves permits for three Cowan Crossing restaurants

The Fredericksburg City Council unanimously approved a special-use permit for three restaurants plan ... Sep 09 in City Beat.

Council recognizes retiring firefighter Tim Merryman

City Manager Bev Cameron thanks firefighter Tim Merryman for his service to the city as Mayor Mary ... Sep 09 in City Beat.

Riverfront Park cost as high as $18 million at initial estimate

The initial estimate of the cost for Fredericksburg's Riverfront Park was between $14 million and $1 ... Sep 09 in City Beat.

Micah vows to focus on aiding homeless vets

BY AMY FLOWERS UMBLE / THE FREE LANCE-STARNavigating military acronyms, jargon and red tape can be t ... Sep 08 in The News Desk.

City Council eyes Riverfront Park plan

A side-view rendering of the proposed Riverfront Park shows various features, including the mas ... Sep 08 in The News Desk.

Update: Check out the traffic study and maps on Mill District proposal

Today, I lay out plans being led by former Fredericksburg Planning Commissioner Ed Whelan to attempt ... Sep 07 in City Beat.

Baseball talks may go into extra innings

BY PAMELA GOULD / THE FREE LANCE–STAR The fate of a proposal to bring professional baseball to Fred ... Sep 06 in The News Desk.

Can Mill District plan revive city corridor?

As part of former Planning Commissioner Ed Whelan's Mill District redevelopment plan a pedestrian t ... Sep 06 in The News Desk.

Fredericksburg trees felled by vandals

BY DAWNTHEA PRICE / THE FREE LANCE–STAR Two trees in downtown Fredericksburg have been “damaged b ... Sep 06 in The News Desk.

Fredericksburg trees felled by vandals

BY DAWNTHEA PRICE / THE FREE LANCE–STAR Two trees in downtown Fredericksburg have been “damaged b ... Sep 06 in The News Desk.

City police make arrests in thefts

SEE ALSO: Fingerprint leads to man’s arrest BY KEITH EPPS / THE FREE LANCE–STAR Fredericksburg pol ... Sep 05 in The News Desk.

Fingerprint leads to man's arrest

A fingerprint match has led to larceny charges against a man in connection with thefts in June that ... Sep 05 in The News Desk.

No thumbs up for Cowan Crossing

BY PAMELA GOULD / THE FREE LANCE–STAR A proposed residential development adjoining the Cowan Crossi ... Sep 05 in The News Desk.

Baseball project will be discussed in closed-door meeting on Tuesday

The Fredericksburg City Council will go behind closed doors on Tuesday to discuss the proposed stadi ... Sep 04 in City Beat.

Expo hosting third annual Pet Show on Sept. 20-21

The Fredericksburg Expo Center will host the third annual Pet Show on Sept. 20 and 21. The show w ... Sep 03 in Pet Dish.

Fire Dept: City blaze caused by electrical problems

http://youtu.be/Is8uDLnHHkQ A July 30 fire at 306 Hunter Street in Fredericksburg was caused by ... Sep 03 in The News Desk.

Fire Dept: City blaze caused by electrical problems

http://youtu.be/Is8uDLnHHkQ A July 30 fire at 306 Hunter Street in Fredericksburg was caused by ... Sep 03 in The News Desk.

SAFE CROSSINGS GOAL OF CITY TRAIL WORK

BY SCOTT SHENK / THE FREE LANCE–STAR Work at the Lafayette Boulevard and Blue & Gray Parkway in ... Sep 02 in The News Desk.

Fredericksburg's Soggy Doggy Swim is Friday

Pools have closed for the season. That means it's time to invite the doggies to splash about. Fre ... Sep 02 in Pet Dish.

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.