GMU’s Arlington campus renamed ‘Mason Square’
University also names new building for digital innovation, collaboration
George Mason University’s Arlington campus is being renamed Mason Square.
The university announced the rebranding Thursday, also naming its new $168 million technology-forward building designed to support digital innovation and collaboration and serve as the anchor for the Rosslyn-Ballston’s developing innovation district. The 345,000-square-foot Fuse at Mason Square will be a LEED Platinum, net-zero energy-ready building with Fitwel 2-star and RELi resiliency certifications. It will also feature retail, a plaza for programming and underground parking. Fuse will be home to the university’s Institute for Digital Innovation and graduate programs from GMU’s new School of Computing and will be designed to support digital innovation, active learning, research, business entrepreneurs and tech incubators as well as policymakers. A groundbreaking is scheduled for April 6.
“As the largest producer of computing graduates in Virginia, George Mason University is building a new model for education’s role in economic development,” said GMU President Gregory Washington. “Mason Square brings scholars, students, industry and the region together at a destination – unlike any other – that takes ideas and research to market faster, and drives policy and technology solutions forward for decades to come.”
Paula Sorrell, the university’s associate vice president of innovation and economic development, said she expects there to be a “large ripple effect” from the activities that will happen within Fuse. GMU already has an innovation pilot space in Arlington that includes about a dozen corporate partners, as well as partners from the federal government and other universities.
“We’ve demonstrated that we can stand up companies, we can get research to market, we can partner with large companies on joint research projects and with other universities,” Sorrell told Virginia Business. “And so this is taking what we’re already doing in our pilot space that exists right now and expanding it into a much larger operation that’s able to enhance capacity.”
GMU spokesperson Robin Parker said Fuse is expected to open for commercial occupants in 2024 with academic spaces planned for completion in 2025.
Mason Square, located in Arlington’s Virginia Square neighborhood in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, will support engineering, computing, entrepreneurship and business, policy and law to enable the quick scaling of new ideas and inventions. In addition to the new building, Mason Square includes the Antonin Scalia Law School, the Schar School of Policy and Government, the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, programs in arts management and the School of Business, Mason Enterprise, continuing and professional education and meeting and conference facilities.
“We look forward to this new building and program, Fuse at Mason Square, attracting startups, investors and community organizations to Arlington in order to work alongside Mason innovators,” Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol said. “This proximity will spark innovation and new partnerships, and the research, programs and talent that will thrive here will be a cutting-edge asset for the regional economy for decades to come.”
The Arlington expansion at Mason Square supports Virginia’s Tech Talent Investment program, a 20-year program designed to produce 25,000 additional graduates in computer science, computer engineering and software engineering.
GMU is Virginia’s largest public research university with 39,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states.