Construction Should Last Forever


Billy Ferguson/Fourth Estate

Editor’s note: This piece is a work of fiction written for Fourth Estate’s satire issue, Faux Estate.

Construction has become an integral part of the Mason campus and has introduced so many unexpected benefits. The vision of the Core Campus Project is incredible, but it’s time Mason reevaluated. We have enough buildings — you can’t step outside without seeing one. But what we don’t have enough of is construction. 

Have you ever taken a moment out of your busy day to appreciate the little things in life? I do, every Tuesday and Thursday when I stand outside Fenwick, my eyes transfixed on the new Robinson. I stare in awe at the soothing purple glow of the welding arc like the first cavewoman gawking at the first campfire. My mouth hangs slightly ajar as students bustle by me. The sign begs me not to look at the light, but how can I ignore this display of human mastery over nature? 

The sharp clanging and banging of the construction equipment is music to my ears. It might be band rehearsal, because rumor has it, Mason is dropping an industrial music album soon. My professor’s monotonous droning voice is replaced by this funky arhythmic beat. Suddenly, I find class absolutely riveting. 

Sometimes, if I’m lucky, I can skip my workout because I already had one meandering around campus. Denying me the most direct way between two points on campus is the best thing Mason could do for my wellness. I love Mason’s dynamic nature. Thanks to the construction in seemingly sporadic places, consistent detours keep me on my toes and in shape. 

At lunch time, I watch the yellow and gray machines claw away at the earth like dinosaurs as I slowly munch on my delectable Lucky Charms. The stress of college disappears, and I am once again a child playing in a sandbox.

The construction site is mysterious. It’s fenced off, and only certain people are allowed in. This aura entices me and I begin to wonder about their true purpose. “What are they really building?” I ask the universe. “Will it ever look like the photo on the fence?” The suspense gets me through the day.

So, how should we extend construction time? Working theories from Mason’s Volgenau School of Engineering include extending lunch breaks, taking away the workers’ power tools and making them work with one hand behind their back. The Starship robots have also volunteered to replace all heavy machinery. They’re sick of carrying your Starbucks drinks and want to see some real action. 

New and completed buildings cannot offer me these unmatched levels of entertainment, wellness and intrigue. Think of your daily walk to class, but imagine the construction is complete. The towering new Robinson casts a dark shadow over the drab sidewalk. Don’t you feel empty and alone? Wilkins Plaza is shiny and new, but you’ve gained a few pounds from the lack of exercise. The only mysterious and exciting thing in your life is gone. Without construction, our lives are meaningless. 

Construction is the crown jewel of Mason, and every Mason student, now and in the future, should have the same opportunity to enjoy the wonders of campus construction. Any old university out there can brag about buildings — at Mason we can brag about building.