Arlington Campus Plans Community-Friendly Public Plaza

Posted: August 24, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Daniela Stevens Matarazzo

Mason community members, Arlington County government officials and local residents recently gathered to discuss the future of the Arlington Campus.

As the second phase of a three-phase development is scheduled to begin in late September, developers specifically asked for community input as they begin designing Mason’s Public Plaza.

Arlington Plaza conception
A design for Phase II construction at the Arlington Campus showing a possible configuration for the outdoor plaza, which is located between the School of Law at right and the Phase II building at left. The plaza will be atop three levels of underground parking.
Image courtesy of Bob Nashed

“Mason is part of the Arlington fabric. The future Public Plaza is so important because it is recognized as a gathering place for the Arlington community, as well as for Mason faculty, staff and students,” said Walter Tejada, vice chair of the Arlington County Board and a former Mason student. “The plaza is truly a location that will benefit us all.”

Situated on Fairfax Drive, the plaza will include an outdoor café, art, fountains and seating areas. Planners are also considering community members’ suggestions, such as study areas, community bulletin boards, information kiosks and musical events.

Facilitating discussion on the Public Plaza were members of the Project for Public Spaces (PPS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public places that appeal to the surrounding community.

“We don’t want to create a pedestrian-free environment,” said Steve Davies, senior vice president of PPS. “We want to connect Mason to the community through this space.”

In addition to the new plaza, Phase II will include 250,000 square feet of space for the School of Public Policy, the School of Law and academic and student support services. The building will also feature a 300-seat auditorium, a 500-seat multipurpose room and three levels of underground parking, creating 433 new parking spaces. Phase II is expected to be completed in spring 2010.

Phase III will replace the Original Building and expand the entire Arlington Campus to 750,000 square feet, providing space for continued growth in student enrollment and research. The Phase III building will be the new home of the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

More meetings will be scheduled in late September to further discuss the ongoing campus development.

For more information regarding the Arlington Campus and future construction updates, please go to the Arlington Campus web site.

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