Short-term Construction Plans Outlined at Capital Project Briefing

Posted: July 24, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Jeremy Lasich

Hard hats and dump trucks will be a common sight for the George Mason community over the next four years as the university kicks its construction plans into high gear. With several projects already under way, George Mason is in middle of adding several new academic, housing, and research buildings, according to Jim Miller, director of facilities planning, who spoke at yesterday’s quarterly capital project briefing.

The university began its South Sector Plan on the Fairfax Campus this year with the construction of Academic IV (Innovation Hall) and Housing V (Liberty Square), which are both scheduled to open in time for the fall semester. Innovation Hall will be a high-technology building with classroom space; a 120-seat, 24-hour computer lab; and a state-of-the-art production studio. Liberty Square will add an additional 500 beds, bringing to 3,500 the total for on-campus residents. Construction on the building is nearly complete, although the many rainy days this spring have caused delays in building the roads and sidewalks that must be completed in order to receive an occupancy permit. Construction is just beginning on Housing VI–another 500-bed project scheduled to open in fall 2004.

The other major construction project faculty and staff can expect this year is the addition of a new 1,200-car parking deck that will sit on what is currently Lot B. Scheduled to open in December 2004, the 2,500-square-foot structure will be five levels, with 200 visitor spots on the lower level and 1,000 permit-required spaces filling the rest of the building.

George Mason’s first dedicated research building, Research I, is in the design phase right now, with construction expected to begin next year. Scheduled for a spring 2005 opening, the four-story, 100,000-square-foot structure will address the university’s need for faculty offices and research laboratories. It will also include a high tech astronomy laboratory and rooftop observatory.

Other upcoming projects on the Fairfax Campus include another academic building (Academic V), scheduled to open in 2006; renovations to Thompson and West buildings, giving two of the university’s oldest buildings a facelift; an 8,000-square-foot addition to the Aquatic and Fitness Center, adding much-need workout equipment and locker room space; and renovations to the Patriot Center, SUB I, and Fenwick Library.

The Prince William Campus has also had its share of construction over the past year as Academic IIIA nears completion. The 103,000-square-foot facility is the first phase of a two-phase building project. It will consist of faculty offices, high-technology classrooms, laboratories, a television studio, and a telecommuting center.

Construction on the Academic Phase II building on the Arlington Campus will begin next year and includes a 1,100-car underground parking facility. After completion, it will be occupied by the School of Public Policy, the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, the School of Management, the School of Computational Sciences, and the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

For more information, visit the George Mason construction web page.

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