A New Era for George Mason University

via Unsplash

Do you really go to George Mason if you don’t have a love/hate relationship with construction projects? GMU is a younger school founded on the idea of innovation and creation. The campus is constantly growing with new classrooms and multi-use spaces to help put the school ahead in technology and research. Starting this spring, the face of the Fairfax campus is going to look a lot different.

The infamous (and outdated) Robinson hall will be taken down

via George Mason University

The new hall will be done in phases. Robinson B will remain while Robinson A is torn down and completed... then B will ultimately face its doom. In the end, the area will feature an outdoor amphitheater space and courtyard collaboration area. The Zen garden will be installed as a place of solitary reflection and meditation to support the school’s mission of community well-being. The MIX, now held in the old Fenwick building, will also be moved to the new Robinson.

What will happen to campus icons?

via George Mason University Admissions

Mainly, the George statue and the plaque. The plan is to keep those where they are for now and leave them out of the construction zone. Fear not seniors! You can still take your grad photos with the statue, but the background may not be very pretty. I recommend Mason Pond instead! North Plaza and the clock tower will be part of the renovation. New pathways will stretch from the Johnson Center to Southside. The student voice walls with about ten thousand layers of paint will be revamped.

West Campus is welcoming the Innovation District

The tentative long-term plan is to utilize the space immediately entering west campus at Ox Road and Chain Bridge Road. The area currently houses low-income units. They want to add “high-rise” buildings, about seven to eight stories, to accommodate additional low-income units and brand new student housing. This will provide about 750 new student bed spaces.

The Piping Project

via Robinson Hall Replacement: George Mason University

Probably the biggest disturbance, besides major construction in the center of campus, is the plan to install new pipes and infrastructure across most of campus. This will provide new heating and cooling lines and support for Wi-Fi signal to a constantly growing campus population. Mason-secure won’t be free of issues anytime soon. The project is set to be completed in 9 phases over the course of the next four years beginning in the spring semester. The phases can be seen in the picture above. The color indicates if pipes will be complete new, repaired or moved entirely. The committee is set to have a town hall in the spring to answer any questions the community will have about impact. Those with disabilities or those who need support to get around the construction projects will be informed and assisted as the project progresses.

The project website features 3-D renderings of the completed project and what students can look forward to. You can also follow the project's Twitter account by following @Redo_Robinson on Twitter. Although this won’t likely improve the quality of student experiences immediately at Mason, these improvements pave the way for the university to continue offering a top-notch quality education close to D.C. with thousands of research and job opportunities. Yes, construction sucks and it will be painful, but this is going to transform the campus in a positive and much-needed way.