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A Hub for Health Care

Space on college campuses is always at a premium, but when a college is growing as rapidly as the George Mason University’s College of Health and Human Services [1] is, space—and time—really are of the essence.

For years, the college’s faculty, staff, and students have been spread out in office and classroom spaces on the Fairfax and Prince William Campuses and in the City of Fairfax. With the help of donors such as the Toups family and Reston Hospital Center, classroom space has been converted into labs necessary for students to learn the practical skills so vital to their future careers. But now it is time to give the college the space it needs to grow.

A rendering of the new College of Health and Human Services building at Fairfax Campus. Provided by Perkins Eastman [2]

A rendering of the new College of Health and Human Services building at Fairfax Campus. Provided by Perkins Eastman

With the help of $20 million in funding from the Virginia General Assembly, the college is finalizing plans for a new 160,000-square-foot building that will put all of its programs under one roof with room to grow. As the college expands its role in promoting healthy communities and educating tomorrow’s health care practitioners, this academic and research facility will change the look of the university and its role in the region.

The building, now called Academic VII, will sit at the entrance to campus on University Boulevard. More than a traditional academic building, this building will have five signature spaces that will help the college move to the forefront of the health sciences: the Nutrition Kitchen Lab, the Health Informatics Learning Lab, the Functional Performance Lab, the Nursing Simulation and Skills Lab, and the Community Health Institute. The college is well on its way to becoming a comprehensive health care research and clinical practice enterprise.

Dean Thomas Prohaska says the new labs and clinics will provide cutting-edge training for students and provide more opportunities for the college to contribute to the well-being of the community and pursue interdisciplinary research.

The state funding reflects George Mason’s essential role in contributing to Virginia’s health care system and its economy, says Prohaska. “We are the health college for the community. One of the most important jobs we do is to contribute to the health care workforce.”

Academic VII

If you would like to contribute to the building fund for Academic VII, visit give.gmu.edu. For more information, email dkuhar@gmu.edu.