11.21.2014  |   | Subscribe  | Contact us

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

Shotgun blast through ceiling leads to Fredericksburg man's arrest

BY KEITH EPPS / THE FREE LANCE–STAR A Fredericksburg man has been charged with a felony after being ... Nov 20 in The News Desk.

COLD NOSE, COLD WEATHER: Bell ringers greeted in Fredericksburg

(PETER CIHELKA / THE FREE LANCE-STAR) Salvation Army bell ringers Jillian Stack (right) and Edwa ... Nov 19 in The News Desk.

UNDER REPAIR: Fixing Falmouth Bridge

(PETER CIHELKA / THE FREE LANCE-STAR) Thomas Warren of McClain & Company saws through concrete a ... Nov 18 in The News Desk.

Race relations draw discussion at town hall meeting

Dewayne Stokes (center) and his daughter, Jaidyn Hamn-Stokes, 5, talk with Chris Lillis and other p ... Nov 15 in The News Desk.

Conspirator-turned-witness to serve 8 years for role in fatal robbery

BY KEITH EPPS THE FREE LANCE–STAR A Richmond man who was a key prosecution witness in trials i ... Nov 14 in The News Desk.

Fredericksburg CVS robbed again

BY KEITH EPPS THE FREE LANCE–STAR For the second time in three months, a man holding a handker ... Nov 14 in The News Desk.

With his tuxedo markings, Kingston is ready to bring style to your home

The following pets are among those available for adoption at Fredericksburg-area animal shelters. F ... Nov 14 in Pet Dish.

Fredericksburg's ARB taking up Mill District on Monday

Fredericksburg's Architectural Review Board will take a look at portions of the Mill District projec ... Nov 13 in City Beat.

Third public hearing on Mill District plan

BY PAMELA GOULD / THE FREE LANCE–STAR The Fredericksburg City Council on Tuesday voiced strong supp ... Nov 11 in The News Desk.

Fredericksburg offices closed but City Council meets tonight

The city of Fredericksburg offices are closed today. However, the City Council will hold a work sess ... Nov 11 in City Beat.

Spotsylvania man held in Fredericksburg convenience store robbery

BY PORTSIA SMITH / THE FREE LANCE–STARA Spotsylvania County man is charged in connection with the ar ... Nov 07 in The News Desk.

1891 Fredericksburg home that has spent decade as B&B is for sale

The Schooler House B&B has become a local landmark at 1303 Caroline St. in Fredericksburg. ... Nov 07 in The News Desk.

Juliet is among the shelter pets seeking a forever home this week

Juliet is a female terrier mix that is spayed, leash-trained and crate-trained. She is playful, aff ... Nov 07 in Pet Dish.

Mill District is chief topic for Fredericksburg City Council on Tuesday

The proposed Mill District development is the primary topic for Fredericksburg's City Council meetin ... Nov 06 in City Beat.

Extended parking starts in Fredericksburg on Saturday

Parking along downtown Fredericksburg streets will be extended by two hours starting on Saturday. ... Nov 06 in City Beat.

Downtown Fredricksburg businesses extending Friday night hours

FROM STAFF REPORTSDowntown Fredericksburg’s “Open Late Fridays” campaign begins Fr ... Nov 05 in The News Desk.

ICYMI: Check out details on Amelia Street home projects

These three new homes along Amelia Street are being built by Simply Home LLC. Photo by Peter Cihelk ... Nov 05 in City Beat.

Fredericksburg's regional library system seeks input in online survey

This morning, I reported that the Central Rappahannock Regional Library is launching a survey to gat ... Nov 03 in City Beat.

Library asking what people want it to be

ONLINE EXTRA: TAKE THE SURVEY HERE. BY PAMELA GOULD / THE FREE LANCE-STAR The Central Rappahannock ... Nov 02 in The News Desk.

Video: Undead take to the streets for Fredericksburg Zombie Walk

Fredericksburg Zombie Walk (Alex Russell/fredericksburg.com) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Qk ... Nov 02 in The News Desk.

Listening to voices from Stafford's past at 'Trail to Freedom' event

Elliot Dash, of Wheaton, Md., portrays Fredericksburg slave John Washington as part of the Trail to ... Nov 02 in The News Desk.

'Crumb & Get It Cookie Co.' plans opening in Central Park

BY CATHY JETT THE FREE LANCE-STAR Crumb & Get It Cookie Co., which lets customers design ... Oct 31 in The News Desk.

In downtown Fredericksburg, Amelia Street becomes urban renewal project

BY RICHARD AMRHINE / THE FREE LANCE–STAR Fredericksburg is a city cozy enough that new constr ... Oct 31 in The News Desk.

Little library project opens doors to books

Elanor Kindred (left) and Jackie Reader are avid readers who have joined a project called Little Fr ... Oct 30 in The News Desk.

Stafford man found guilty of robbery

BY KEITH EPPS / THE FREE LANCE-STARWesley Carlton Smith was cleared of a first-degree murder charge ... Oct 30 in The News Desk.