The Mason Spirit

Passage of the Higher Education Bond Triggers Construction Activity

By Daniel Walsch

When people talk about the hustle and bustle of George Mason University over the next five to seven years, they won’t just be referring to students, staff, and faculty. Construction workers can be added to that list as 12 major construction projects are in the works through 2009.

Seven of these projects are the result of the recently passed General Obligation Bond Referendum, George Mason will be issued $80 million in bond money to help fund these projects. The remaining five projects are part of the university’s own long-range growth plans and will be funded primarily through support from the state.

The projects are as follows:

Academic IV. The bulk of construction for this facility has been completed; however, the installation and move-in phases remain on the university’s to-do list. Construction on Academic IV is expected to be complete this spring.

Housing V. Construction on this 500-bed facility is scheduled to begin in 2003 and end in 2004 (see story on page 14).

Prince William III. Ground was broken last fall for this $21.7 million facility. It is expected to be operational no later than 2006.

Research I. This project is the first of seven funded by the bond referendum to be tackled. Construction for this $20 million facility is set to begin October 2003 with a hoped-for completion date of January 2005. The building will include a new high-tech astronomy laboratory with a rooftop observatory.

Utility Infrastructure. Another higher education bond project, this undertaking will cost an estimated $2.9 million and will include construction of a heating and cooling pipe system that will open up the east side of the Fairfax Campus for future development.

Parking Deck II. Work on this $15 million structure on the Fairfax Campus is scheduled to begin within the next 12 months.

George Mason University Foundation Building. Construction on this facility is set to begin in spring 2003 and finish in summer 2005.

Arlington II. Construction of this bond-related building is set to begin in summer 2005 and conclude in spring 2007. The cost of this seven-story facility, which includes an underground parking garage, is estimated at $50.1 million.

Housing VI. With an estimated cost of $28 million, construction of this 500-bed residence facility is scheduled to begin no later than 2005 and conclude in 2006.

Expansion of the Aquatic and Fitness Center. This project on the Fairfax Campus is next on the construction agenda. At an estimated cost of $7 million, work on this popular facility will begin no later than 2004.

Renovation of Thompson and King Halls. Renovations on two of the oldest buildings at George Mason follows. This dual project is a result of the bond referendum. Its approximate cost is $14.6 million.

Academic V. Construction of this $26.3 million facility to be built on the Fairfax Campus, is set to begin in winter 2005 and end by 2008. At present, the primary occupant of this building will be the College of Visual and Performing Arts.