Potomac Heights, Sandy Creek Parking Deck under Construction This Summer

Posted: March 30, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Jeremy Lasich

While it’s common for campus activity to slow down over the summer, that won’t be the case this year in terms of construction activity. A couple of projects already under way will kick into high gear, and others will just be breaking ground, according to Benn Crandall, senior facilities project officer.

Potomac Heights (Housing VI) student housing, a complement to Liberty Square, is expected to be finished in time for the fall 2004 semester. The building will add an additional 500 beds, bringing the total to 4,000 for on-campus residents.

Also under construction is the new parking deck located on Parking Lot B, which will open in December. The 2,500-square-foot structure, to be named Sandy Creek Parking Deck, will be five levels, with 200 visitor spots on the lower level and 1,000 permit-required spaces filling the rest of the building. In the late spring or early summer, pre-cast shipments for the structure will be delivered to campus. These shipments–more than 4,000 pieces of concrete, some as long as 60 feet–will be arriving on tractor-trailer trucks. The plan is to have the trucks arrive, one at a time, in a specific numbered order. In the event that the trucks arrive out of order, or if they arrive at the same time, there will be a holding area for them in the corner of Parking Lot K. The number of trucks that arrive on campus daily will vary, but it could be as high as 20 a day.

Parking Lot B is expected to lose about 35 more spaces this summer when ground is broken for Research I, which will be built adjacent to the new parking deck. 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. Eventually, Parking Lot B will be eliminated completely.

Another new building, Academic V, which will house the College of Visual and Performing Arts, will be built on the site of what is left of the parking lot. The building is currently in the early design stages, and groundbreaking isn’t expected for at least another year.

Six months after breaking ground on Research I, renovations will begin in the Aquatic and Fitness Center. This $7.5 million renovation and addition will add more lockers and more common areas to the center. Pool areas will not be affected during the renovation. To facilitate the construction, a road will be built through Parking Lot C to the site of Potomac Heights, also under construction. The road will be used for construction traffic only, and is being built to keep construction vehicles out of Patriot Circle traffic.

The Patriot Center will also undergo renovations. Then the university will take a one-year break before beginning work on the north end of campus, which will include Housing VII and Student Union Building III. These projects will begin in 2006 and be completed by 2009.

The renovations of Thompson Hall and West Building have been funded, though no firm dates have yet been set for starting work. Other renovations that are currently on the books but have not been approved are Robinson Hall A and B and David King Hall.

On the Arlington Campus, the design of Arlington II is under way. The Foundation Building has to be complete in order to move forward with the construction phase of Arlington II–the university is going to use the underground parking spaces of the Foundation Building for student/faculty/staff parking while Arlington II is being constructed on the site of the current parking lot. The Foundation Building construction should begin sometime this summer.

The newest building on the Prince William Campus, Bull Run Hall, is almost complete. The university expects to receive a major occupancy permit by the end of April. Once the permit is obtained, two months of inside construction will be necessary to complete the building.

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

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