Join Club

Secretary Blinken inaugurates new facility at State Dept. training center in Arlington

(Updated 10/26/23) U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken inaugurated a 200,000-square-foot building at the Arlington-based National Foreign Affairs Training Center yesterday.

The $121.2 million, federally funded facility, dubbed “Building B,” opened in 2022. It aims to expand the training center’s capacity, which has seen a surge in recruitment over the last two years, according to State Department officials.

“Building B has vastly increased the Foreign Service Institute’s workspace, creating hundreds of new areas where students and instructors can come together for classes, breakout sessions, large format meetings,” Blinken said during the dedication ceremony on Monday.

Located on S. George Mason Drive in the Alcova Heights neighborhood, the training center is the primary training ground for U.S. diplomats and foreign affairs professionals, offering courses in languages and international relations.

Since 2020, the student body has increased by nearly 30%, said Joan Polaschik, the director of the Foreign Service Institute.

“We are engaged in the largest hiring surge in more than a decade,” she told ARLnow following the ceremony.

This surge forced the training center to use State Department offices in Rosslyn to accommodate the overflow of students, according to FSI.

The State Department has seven other buildings in Arlington, home to bureaus such as Diplomatic Security and the Office of the Inspector General. More than 5,000 full-time employees and contractors work across these offices.

The new Building B, which serves a total of 3,679 in-person and online students, should alleviate this overflow issue, according to FSI. The campus has seen its daily in-person student capacity increase by 25%, going from 650 to 1,100.

Building B is home to FSI, the Consular Training Division, School of Professional and Area Studies and Leadership and Management School.

“The new Building B will eliminate the need for both of these spaces in Rosslyn and consolidate language studies in one place — our Arlington campus,” the FSI spokesman said.

Other planned expansion efforts resulted in the closure of a walking trail, despite efforts from some residents to save it, though these were unrelated to Building B, the spokesman later clarified. Plans for Building B were approved in 2020.

During his remarks, Blinken — who lives in Arlington — said the new building serves as a much-needed asset, amid growing tensions between the United States and other global superpowers, such as Russia and China, as well as conflicts in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine.

“It is essential that we empower our workforce with the skills and training that they need to operate in a crisis like this and to meet any challenge that comes our way,” he said. “So today, I’m really happy to mark the significant step forward toward that mission.”

Recent Stories

Good Friday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. đź•— News recap The following articles were published earlier today…

There’s no official word on its website, but it looks like Bar Ivy in Clarendon may have closed permanently.

There’s persistence, and then there is Audrey Clement and her decade-plus effort to get elected to local office in Arlington. Clement talked with ARLnow editor Scott Brodbeck to talk about…

Makers Union, an upscale gastropub, is set to open its doors in Pentagon City next week, says Alex Brown, the restaurant’s director of operations. This opening marks the third Makers Union location in the D.C. Metropolitan area, following the debut of its Reston location three years ago and a recent opening at the Wharf in early October.

Children’s Weekday Program (CWP) is a non-profit preschool rooted in a play-based philosophy. We focus on developing a love of learning and exploration, cooperation, empathy, and independence.

Our caring and experienced educators create opportunities for children 16 months to 5 years old to play, learn, and grow in a nurturing environment of child-centered and developmentally appropriate experiences.

Initially established more than 50 years ago in South Arlington, CWP continues to be a lauded program in the Northern Virginia area. We are extremely proud to have been recognized as a Best Preschool in Northern Virginia Magazine for the last 4 years.

Located now in North Arlington at 2666 Military Road, CWP offers a part-time parents day out and preschool program with options to extend care both before and after school. We offer a supportive and inclusive school community for children and parents alike and welcome all families to join our school!

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

The Optimist Club of Arlington is holding its 77th annual Christmas tree sale!

This year, the tree sale will be held at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road). The lot opens for sales on November 24th. The Optimist Club is selling small and large trees ranging from tabletop size to 10 foot tall trees! Wreaths, garland, tree stands, and White House Christmas ornaments will also be for sale.

100% of all proceeds go towards helping Arlington County youth.

For more information, please visit the Arlington Optimists website at

Submit your own Announcement here.

Holiday Art Show

Holiday Art Show featuring artists: Peter Fitzgerald, Claire Plante, Alanna Rivera, and Suzy Scollon. At the Barcroft Community House, 800 South Buchanan St., Arlington, VA. Dec. 8 from, 2 PM to 8 PM and Dec. 9 from 10 AM to

Christmas Tree Sales

2023 Christmas Tree Sales Begin

Saturday, December 2

Get your holiday decorating off to the right start this year! We will be selling 150 Fraser firs, freshly cut and delivered from Sparta, North Carolina.

Sale Hours:

Read More


Subscribe to our mailing list