Issmar Ventura, Staff Writer
Have you ever thought about why so much construction is happening at Mason? It so happens that George Mason University has invested in the renovation of several buildings on campus, including the Health and Human Services building and Fenwick Library. Three additional projects for the Fairfax campus and one for the Prince William campus are also on the agenda.
Senior computer science major Bruno Pareja commutes to campus from Arlington, Va. Though he is not too bothered by the construction, he is looking forward to its completion.
“To be honest, I’m only on campus for classes, so construction doesn’t really affect me, unless it is happening on the road because I do not like dealing with the inconvenience of being blocked and delayed to class,” Pareja said.
He feels it must be particularly bothersome for on-campus students.
“I think this only really affects those students who live on campus and like to take naps during the day because it would probably be hard to fall asleep with the construction noise,” Pareja said, “but if you just nap at other times of the day, you should be okay.”
There are a number of ways students and staff at Mason have chosen to deal with the noise and dust. For many, relief is simply a matter of choosing to ignore it.
Frank Strike, Facilities Management Director, mentions that everyone who is making the Mason construction projects possible, including the field workers, have been advised to keep noise and dust levels at a minimum and to work as discreetly as possible. He feels that the projects are operating smoothly.
“We want to lessen the impact on the students and the staff so that it does not affect their studies in any way, shape, or form,” Strike said. “We try our very best to be cautious and maintain our whole team well informed of special events occurring on campus as well as dates for examination periods.”
Strike also believes that it is imperative for students to know that the construction staff is working diligently to produce high-quality projects in a limited timespan.
Jaime Coniglio, Head of the Research Services at the current Fenwick Library says that “[i]n telling students how to deal with campus construction, I believe this is in the realm of practical, physical and even psychological advice. Students may very well easily cope with all the construction.”
For the most part, Mason students are not too bothered by the construction and are glad to witness the improvements.
That’s a good thing too, since none of these projects comes with a modest price tag. The Fenwick Library project is priced at $60 million, and the Health and Human Services construction is priced at $70 million.
According to the Project Management and Construction section on Mason’s website, the Central Utility Expansion project will be completed by December 2015, the Fenwick Library by January 2016, and the Health and Human Services project by July 2017.
Here are some tips from Fourth Estate on how to deal with the current construction:
Take different routes to avoid walking next to it…
This will specially help those who are aren’t comfortable with loud noises or getting dust on their noses. Learning about alternate routes can help you avoid the hammering and dirty machinery, and you may even find a faster way to get to class.
Play your favorite music on your music device and plug in your headphones…
By doing so, you won’t even notice the construction because you’ll be so into your beats. Music drives people and creates emotions, so why not feel great about your music instead of listening to annoying beeps and bangs?
Walk with a group of friends to class and talk to each other…
You may find that walking with others versus walking alone may be beneficial after all. By talking to your friends, you can get into conversations and forget about the construction noises.
Enjoy the construction progress by appreciating the view from a distance…
Simply observe the development of the projects over the days and weeks. This may be of special interest to students interested in architecture or engineering.