History of The Campagna Center Building
The Campagna Center is currently located at 418 South Washington Street and sits on a parcel of land originally dedicated by George Washington to the City of Alexandria for the Alexandria Academy. The original Alexandria Academy building still stands today just to our north and west. Robert E Lee attended the school as a youth from 1818-1823. President Washington intended the site to always be used for educational activities and in his efforts to ensure that this wish was met; he continued to fund the organization financially until he died in 1799.
Our building was the second structure built on the site and it was completed in 1812. Originally a school building, it was used as such until it was razed in 1870, it housed the Lancastrian School in Alexandria. Above the rear entrance to The Campagna Center is a marker reminding all who enter that this was and always will be a very special building dedicated to helping people learn.
The current structure was built in 1870 and again started out as a school building and then after many years became an administrative office building before inviting in the Alexandria Community Y in the early 1980’s. We changed our name to the Campagna Center in honor of our former Executive Director, Elizabeth Anne Campagna.
Today nearly 40 of our staff members work in the facility once known as George Washington School.
For a history of The Campagna Center Awards, click here.