George Washington University’s Loudoun campus will nearly double in size with the purchase of nearby land and a building.

The university announced last week that it had purchased PSINet’s corporate headquarters, a 204,000 square-foot building located on 40 acres in the University Center complex. The current campus sits on 50 acres on Academic Way, in Ashburn. PSINet headquarters, located nearly across the street on Knoll Drive, will lease back the building for 90 days with the option to extend the lease.

“It’s an excellent opportunity for the campus to accelerate its growth and to become the kind of resource we would like it to become for the region,” said Helen Ryan, spokesperson for George Washington University’s Loudoun campus.

The purchase will allow the Loudoun campus to expand the number and size of it research and academic programs. The main university campus in Fairfax focuses on undergraduate programming, while the Loudoun campus offers graduate programs in technology and management in a 77,000-square-foot research and graduate education complex.

THE LOUDOUN CAMPUS focuses on transportation and safety, information technology and telecommunications, and hopes to bring a biotechnology program to the school.

“We anticipate using the new facility to work collaboratively with industry and government to build upon our extensive research expertise in transportation safety and advanced information technologies and to develop new research initiatives in emerging areas such as biotechnology,” said John Wilson, executive dean of the Loudoun campus, according to a press release from the university.

The school has not identified how many programs it plans to develop. It currently has 25 graduate and professional development programs that bring an average of 3,000 students a year to the campus.

The school generated $28 million in funded research since it opened in 1991. Research was conducted in areas such as transportation safety, advanced technology innovation in telecommunications, information technology and security, and the Internet.

George Washington University does not plan to conduct additional construction on the building at this time, Ryan said.

Last spring, the university began construction on a 72,000-square-foot building to house the National Transportation Safety Board Academy on land previously owned by the university. The university plans to lease the building to the academy, which trains accident investigators, with access to classrooms and laboratories. The academy is scheduled to open in 2003.

Phone calls to PSINet were not returned by deadline.