Arlington Campus Building Construction Making Progress
Reprinted from the Mason Gazette, September 29, 2008
By Dave Andrews
Located in a highly visible, densely populated region of Northern Virginia, Mason’s Arlington Campus has been closely watched by the public ever since it was created in 1979. And having an enormous crater of construction dominating the campus landscape during the last year has only raised public curiosity.
When construction is completed in the spring of 2010, Arlington II will be a noticeably contemporary academic building in the heart of the city. In addition to classrooms and offices, the seven-story structure will feature a 300-seat auditorium, a 438-seat library, a large multipurpose room and an underground parking garage.
“Arlington II is one of the most complex building projects Mason has undertaken, considering its large size and urban location,” says Larry Czarda, Mason vice president for administration. “And once the project is complete, we anticipate Mason's presence in Arlington will be dramatically improved.”
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating System certified Arlington II as an environmentally responsible building project. The system also provides building operators with resources to continually maximize efficiency while minimizing global impact.
Plans to include a half-acre public plaza have attracted a great deal of attention. Mason has worked diligently with the community to develop a design for the plaza that is both functional and visually pleasing.
Above and below, concepts of what the new Arlington building's plaza might look like.
“The plaza will be an asset for all the county’s residents, as well as for Mason’s students and faculty,” Arlington County Board Chairman Paul Ferguson said in a press release. “We look forward to working with the university on programming amenities and events that will make the plaza a vibrant destination spot.”
The plaza is intended to be a community gathering place, with moveable seating, bulletin boards, information kiosks and space for art displays and performances.
“The building’s modern features will not only enhance the campus’ academic capabilities, but they will also enable Mason to host a wide array of university and community events,” Czarda says. “Expanding these resources will support our goals of strengthening our partnership with Arlington County and the surrounding Virginia Square community.”
With three levels of underground parking, Arlington II will have 443 parking spaces. The garage will link to underground parking at Hazel Hall and provide spaces for students, faculty, staff and visitors.
Josh Cantor, Mason director of parking and transportation, is looking forward to the additional parking, which will alleviate a major concern at the Arlington Campus. He notes that Mason is also addressing the needs of a growing number of bicyclists by adding more bike racks and on-site shower facilities for bikers.