In January, Wilmington University will debut a full-service, contemporary location in North Wilmington, Del., aimed at serving the thousands of its students who live or work in the Brandywine Valley. It will replace the university’s current site at Concord Plaza in North Wilmington.
The new Wilmington University Brandywine is a modern campus situated on a 41-acre property on the southwest intersection of Concord Pike (U.S. 202) and Beaver Valley Road. The space could eventually accommodate three buildings built in three phases over a six- to 10-year period. The first building, a three-story structure, contains state-of-the-art classrooms and labs, a library and a full-serve facility designed to meet the needs of this growing region.
Wilmington University has honored its commitment to preserving ecologically important areas by encompassing scenic walking trails and other sustainable development designed with conservation in mind. Maintaining the character of the Brandywine Valley has been a thoughtful and comprehensive process.
Civil engineers from Apex Engineering in Newport, Del., were responsible for site design, which included everything outside the footprint of the building, such as grading, drainage, stormwater management, sanitary sewers, parking lots, and property and topographic surveys, according to civil engineer Stephen G. Davies. Rodney D. Robinson, the principal at Rodney Robinson Landscape Architects in Wilmington and the project’s landscape architect, spent considerable time walking the site, driving the local roads and studying the rural landscape.
Homsey Architects designed the building. With historic preservation as its métier, Homsey’s extensive credits include the original Delaware Art Museum and the renovated Queen Theatre in Wilmington.
A traditional rotunda at the front of the building will serve as a welcoming point, and upper-floor classrooms will overlook a natural amenity that includes 5.7 acres of woodland that’s within a riparian buffer zone (a zone that wraps around natural water courses).
The best view of the campus is from the intersection of U.S. 202 and Naamans Road, which many think is a gateway to the Brandywine Valley and New Castle County. The building – artfully framed by trees, a pond and a stone wall – sits about 750 feet back from the intersection.
“An expansion of this size involves a collaboration of experts who are dedicated to creating a cost-effective and meaningful learning environment,” said Wilmington University President Dr. LaVerne T. Harmon. “That will matter to students in the region who hold full-time jobs and need a convenient option to attend classes. The Brandywine location was built for them.”
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