George Mason University is breaking ground on the massive $235 million expansion of its Arlington campus.
“This is the start of something big for Mason,” Carol Kissal, the university’s senior vice president for administration and finance, said in a statement. “And when it’s done, it will have fundamentally changed our campus, as well as the broader Arlington community.”
Initial work is beginning this week, a GMU spokesperson confirms to ARLnow, despite the weather. A formal groundbreaking is set for the spring to coincide with the university’s 50th anniversary, we’re told.
Right now, there’s a hole at Fairfax Drive in Virginia Square where the old Kann’s Department store once stood. That was demolished in March to make way for a 400,000 square-foot building that will be the centerpiece of the expansion.
As construction gets underway, fencing will go up mostly around the driveway of the FDIC building on N. Monroe Street, a press release notes. Excavation and relocating of an underground storm pipe, water line, and electric line will also take place. There will be drilling, as well, to install beams to support sheeting and shoring.
Neighbors are being told to expect some impacts from construction during the multi-year project.
“There may be some noise. You may feel some vibrations,” said a GMU facilities manager in the press release. “But it’s all safe and done in compliance with rules and requirements. The reality is, the end result will be worth it.”
The building will house faculty from Institute for Digital InnovAtion and the university’s new School of Computing. The university is expected to occupy about 60% of the space with the remaining 40% potentially leased to private companies.
The university is predicting that the expansion, which was planned in the wake of Amazon’s decision to open its HQ2 here, will add 3,000 to 4,000 students to the Arlington campus by the time it opens in the summer of 2025.
While it may be a gaping hole now and a state-of-the-art university facility later, the Fairfax Drive site was in the past the Arlington outpost of the popular D.C.-based Kann’s Department Store. The store featured three floors, an escalator, and some unusual attractions. Apparently, the shoe department had a large glass-windowed display with live spider monkeys from Brazil.
In 1975, the university bought the building and turned it into its law school. At the time, it was believed to be the only law school in the country to have an escalator.
Arlington and much of the D.C. area is now under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch. The watch is in effect until 7 p.m. “Strong to severe thunderstorms are possible late this…
Another three-day weekend awaits. Arlington is a great place to be if you want to catch the fireworks display in D.C., whether from up close or afar. This week also…
Discover some of the best places to view fireworks this Fourth of July in Neighborhood Spotlight.
Today’s Listing of the Day is a 3 BD/2 BA brick home with a double patio and a remodeled lower level.
(This Community Post was written by Embracing Arlington Arts.)
Yes, live performances at theaters have begun again. Good news for patrons, good news for actors and crews, and good news for the industry overall, right? Well, yes and no as COVID is proving to be a powerful enemy. “The show must go on” is still the mantra — unless a cast or crew member tests positive. Then the curtain must fall for about a week — incurring huge financial losses for theaters, including paying the contracted professionals and refunding ticketholders. Production costs also now include purchasing testing equipment which can run into tens of thousands of dollars each month for larger theaters.
How can we help them continue to keep their doors open?
Go see a show and urge others to do the same! Word of mouth is the best means of filling theater seats!
Do you have personal documents that you need shredded? Join the Arlington Arts Center on Saturday, June 18, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for our very own Community Shred Day with Paper Artist Demonstrations!
Bring a box or two of your unwanted papers and sensitive documents to dispose of on the TrueShred truck in the parking lot and watch paper artists from Pyramid Atlantic demonstrate paper-making.
$10 suggested donation for shredding (credit cards accepted). Donations will support the Arlington Arts Center’s mission to connect the community with contemporary art and artists.
Also, Saturday is the LAST DAY of our spring exhibitions! Make sure to visit inside and check out the galleries!
Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act; learn about efforts to keep the Potomac River clean and safe!
The Potomac River has come a long way from being described as a “national disgrace” by President Lyndon B. Johnson.