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Williamsburg is an independent city in Virginia. The city has an estimated population of 15,167 people, according to the Census Bureau. Located on the Virginia Peninsula, Williamsburg is in the northern part of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, which also includes Norfolk and Virginia Beach. It is bordered by James City County and York County.
Williamsburg was founded in 1632 as Middle Plantation as a fortified settlement on high ground between the James and York rivers. The city served as the capital of the Colony of Virginia from 1699 to 1780 and was the center of political events in Virginia leading to the American Revolution. The College of William & Mary, established in 1693, is the second-oldest institution of higher education in the United States; its alumni include three U.S. presidents as well as many other important figures in the nation's early history.
The city's tourism-based economy is driven by Colonial Williamsburg, the restored Historic Area of the city. Along with nearby Jamestown and Yorktown, Williamsburg forms part of the Historic Triangle, which attracts more than four million tourists each year. Modern Williamsburg is also a college town, inhabited in large part by William & Mary students and staff.
The tourist volume of Colonial Williamsburg has attracted many other related businesses to the area. Notable among these was Anheuser-Busch, which established large operations in James City County and York County just outside the city. The company operates a large brewery there, and a subsidiary of the company operates two of its theme parks near the brewery, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and Water Country USA. Anheuser-Busch's subsidiary Busch Properties also operates a commerce park, McLaw's Circle, and Kingsmill on the James a gated residential neighborhood that contains a resort of the same name.
The public school system is jointly operated by the city of Williamsburg and James City County. The Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools system (known informally as "WJCC") consists approximately 9,000 students in 15 schools—9 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, and 3 high schools. Within the county's boundaries, the two established high schools, Lafayette, and Jamestown, are considered above average institutions. A third high school, Warhill, opened in the Lightfoot area in August 2007. The ninth elementary school, JB Blayton, opened in 2010 along with the new middle school to replace James Blair, Lois S. Hornsby Middle School, James River Elementary School, located in the Grove Community in the county's southeastern end, is a magnet school. It offers the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme, one of only five such schools Virginia to do so.
For the 2001–2002 academic year, the public school system was ranked among the top five school systems in the Commonwealth of Virginia and in the top 15% nationwide by Expansion Management Magazine. There are also two regional Governor's Schools in the area that serve gifted and talented students.
The city has also been the home to The College of William & Mary since its founding in 1693, making it America's second oldest college (behind Harvard University). Technically a university, William & Mary was also the first U.S. institution to have a Royal Charter, and the only one to have coat-of-arms from the College of Arms in London. The College campus closely adjoins the Historic District, and the Wren Building of the College at the head of Duke of Gloucester Street was one of the earliest restored by the efforts of Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin and the family of John D. Rockefeller Jr. as they began creating what is now commonly known as Colonial Williamsburg. Over 70% of the students of the College either work part-time or serve as volunteers in the community. Students contribute over 300,000 hours of volunteer service to the Williamsburg community annually. There are also three community colleges, offering associate degrees and college transfer programs, within a twenty-five mile radius of Williamsburg: Thomas Nelson Community College, Paul D. Camp Community College, and Rappahannock Community College. A branch of Thomas Nelson Community College is located just east of the city limits in James City County.
(excerpts from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williamsburg,_Virginia, shared under the creative commins deed)