News at Mason
Robinson Hall replacement will transform Fairfax Campus
September 18, 2017 / by Damian Cristodero
George Mason University is about to embark on an ambitious replacement of Robinson Hall, which will modernize one of the Fairfax Campus’ most-used buildings and substantially improve the learning and collaborative environment.
When the largely state-funded project is done in the spring of 2022, the center of campus will be transformed. The new building will have six floors and 218,000 square feet of space, including bigger, modern classrooms with whiteboards and video screens, collaboration and meeting spaces, informal learning areas outside classrooms, conference rooms, and a MIX space relocated from the old Fenwick Library.
“Students and their learning are our number one priority as a university and the foundation of design of the new building," George Mason President Ángel Cabrera said. “The new building will serve as a living laboratory where faculty will be able to put into practice new forms of learning and bring student life closer to their scholarship and research.”
The massive five-year, $160 million undertaking, which also includes the rebuilding of the North Plaza and much-needed underground utility work, is scheduled to begin summer 2018 with the vacating and demolition of Robinson Hall A.
Natural light will be brought into the building through a centrally located atrium as well as windows on the building’s perimeter.
“With its state-of-the-art classrooms and learning technologies, combined with well-designed working and gathering spaces, the building will help promote active learning and collaboration, both formal and serendipitous, among students, faculty and staff,” Mason Provost S. David Wu said. “That vibrant environment, where ideas spring from conversation and inquiry, will encourage learning in the most natural way.”
Once the new building is completed in spring 2021, Robinson B will be demolished with the Harris Theater becoming a renovated, stand-alone facility. A terraced courtyard/amphitheater will sit between the theater and new structure.
The new building will feature spacious state-of-the-art rooms designed to accommodate between 30 and 100 students.
Senior Vice President Jennifer “J.J.” Davis said that “given the extensive construction in the middle of campus, the projects will be disruptive; however, they are critical to serve our growing faculty, staff and student bodies.”
Deborah Boehm-Davis, the outgoing dean of Mason’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, which will be the new building’s prime tenant, said it is important to keep the end product in mind.
“This is going to be a showcase building,” she said. “It’s in a prime location. It’s right at the crossroads. It should be a very vibrant place.”