Residential Students: Mason Grows to Meet Demand

Posted: March 30, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Mason has come a long way – and come a long way quickly – since the first student housing complex on the Fairfax Campus was completed in October 1977. Those first apartment-style units housed 498 students.

Now, Mason is home to 4,000 resident students, the fifth-largest residential student population in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Another 4,000 students live in off-campus housing – on their own – nearby.

More beds are on the way.

Within two years, Mason will house an additional 1,000 resident students, bringing the on-campus population to about the same level as Harvard, Princeton and Yale universities.

Mason is in the midst of a construction boom that includes its biggest project to date: the $75 million, 450,000-square-foot Northeast Sector project. It is comprised of seven new buildings that will offer housing for more than 1,000 students.

The project will open in stages, with the first housing for approximately 350 students ready by the fall of 2007. An additional 200 beds are scheduled to be completed by spring 2008. The remaining 460 beds are expected to be completed by fall 2008.

The project will be more than housing, however. It’s designed to provide the vitality, energy and convenience of an urban neighborhood, with retail shops, restaurants, a new dining hall and a fitness center. The new “neighborhood” will be linked by a pedestrian mall.

These amenities will join a variety of others that Mason residential students currently enjoy and that provide a well-rounded university life experience.

Mason now offers three student unions, including the popular and innovative Johnson Center, with its food court, library, cinema, and meeting and lounging spaces.

Other non-academic facilities include the Aquatic and Fitness Center; the Patriot Center for entertainment and sporting events; the Center for the Arts for cultural programs; and a variety of dining venues, including Damon’s Restaurant and Ike’s, a wildly popular late-night “diner” located in Eisenhower residence hall.

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