George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Frequently Asked Questions

Will there be enough classroom space and how will it be outfitted in the new building?

Having sufficient classroom space is a priority, and arrangements have been made for additional classrooms during construction.

The effort to add classroom capacity began back in 2014 when Mason Inn was converted to the Mason Global Center with 10 new classrooms. Currently, we are building 13 new classrooms at the Global Center, have eight new classrooms in Peterson Hall, and two additional classrooms in Robinson B.

Once the new building is up, there will be:

  • 27 classrooms with 27‐120 seats, with significant additional spaces for informal learning and gathering among students, faculty, and staff.
  • The classrooms will be designed with technology and furniture to support an active learning environment.
  • All classrooms will be “Bring Your Own Device” and allow for expansion of face-to-face and hybrid options for student engagements throughout all Mason campuses. There also will be increased voice and video connectivity among campuses and strategic partners.
Will I have an office if I am slated to go into the new building, and how will they be furnished?

Growth has made it challenging for every full‐time faculty to have personal offices. This is not unique to Mason, as many universities are experiencing space demands that make shared offices an option.

Department chairs will take needs into account and determine how offices in the new building are best assigned. Offices will have two full bookcases and a smaller bookcase atop a filing cabinet. Each faculty member will have a desk and a chair.

Additionally, the new building will have a number of conference spaces that can be used for closed‐door meetings.

 

How will buildings I manage or use be impacted?

Robinson A is closed. Robinson B will remain occupied and in use until late 2020, when the new building project is complete. At that time, Robinson B will be closed so demolition can begin as well as renovation to the Harris Theatre.

Access and operations will be maintained in all campus buildings during the utility infrastructure improvement phase of the project, though there will be times during the three‐year project that some buildings will require shutdowns to accommodate piping connections. See the timeline for specific outages.

Additionally, some buildings will not have air conditioning (cooling) during pre‐planned periods, though those outages will be scheduled to occur during cold weather days and holidays to minimize occupant impact.

 

​ How will events in the courtyard and on Wilkins Plaza, East, and South Plazas, and Southside Plaza be impacted?

The renovation will take place in phases, so events will be accommodated as construction allows.

 

​ What is the plan for the George Mason statue?

The statue will remain in its current location until late fall 2020 when it will be moved to the Holton Plaza to accommodate the final phase of the utility project. The statue will be back in its original location in late fall 2021.

What is the plan for the Wilkins Plaza clock?

The clock will be removed in the fall 2018 and stored on campus in Mason’s warehouse. It will be returned to its final location on the new Wilkins Plaza in late 2019/early 2020.

What kind of noise can we expect on campus?

We do anticipate noise during the project, particularly during the demolition phases. The contractor will work with the university on noise restrictions, including quiet hours and daily work hours.

 

Can you explain how the removal of asbestos-containing building materials from Robinson A will be done?

Before the building is demolished, all asbestos materials will be removed by a licensed abatement contractor using mandatory work practices designed to prevent the release of asbestos fibers. All waste material from the abatement will be secured in sealed bags for disposal at an approved waste facility. Air monitoring will be conducted during abatement to verify that there is no release of asbestos fibers to areas outside the removal area, and also at the end of abatement to confirm that no residual asbestos contamination exists inside the removal area itself.

With respect to potential cross-contamination between Robinson A and B, the air handling systems for the two buildings are separate, so there is no risk of cross-contamination from shared HVAC systems.

Throughout the asbestos abatement, building demolition and new construction phases of the project, the Environmental Health and Safety Office will continue to work with Mason’s project team to prevent safety and health risks to the GMU community.

 

​ How will outdoor spaces around current Robinson buildings and Harris Theatre be impacted?

The courtyard space between Robinson B and SUB I will be unavailable for the full three‐year duration of the construction project. This is necessary to create a new outdoor amphitheater, a plaza with seating, bike parking, meditation garden, and pedestrian pathways.

On Robinson A’s north side, the green space up to the center Quad sidewalk will become a construction area and will be fenced in for the first two years of the project. Most of the natural tree area with benches next to the Harris Theatre’s south entrance will be protected for the duration of construction and will return intact at projects’ end.

How will parking be impacted?

The only impacts to parking will be along Aquia Creek Lane, which will be congested due to construction activities. Service and delivery parking may be adjusted at times. Access to the Mason Pond Deck will be open for the duration of construction.

Will the MIX@Fenwick close when the new building opens?

 

That will be determined at a later date based on demand from students, faculty, and staff.

 

What can we expect from the MIX in the new building?

Like the MIX@Innovation and the MIX@Fenwick, the new MIX will be a collaboration space for students, faculty, and staff that inspires and supports creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. Located at the south end of the new building, it will be a venue that hosts workshops, hackathons, venture accelerator programs and more. The new MIX is also being designed to support next-generation technologies and manufacturing methods, including 3D printing, advanced microelectronics and next‐generation audiovisual.