New global studies building to replace Lecture Hall

The Lecture Hall building will be torn down to make room for the new Rappahannock Building. (Photo by Vernon Miles.)
The Lecture Hall building will be torn down to make room for the new Rappahannock Building. (Photo by Vernon Miles.)

Say goodbye to the Lecture Hall. The 47-year-old building is being demolished to make way for the new Rappahannock Building, a multi-purpose facility centered on global studies.

The Rappahannock Building, opening fall of 2015, will be six stories tall, with the top four floors devoted to student housing.

 “Housing will be mostly for the globally themed [Learning Living Communities],” said Judith Green, executive director of the Office of International Programs and Services.

Three LLC’s will be created in the new building, which will house both upper and lower classmen.

“These include the ‘Global Crossings’ LLC that pairs international students and domestic sophomores, juniors, and seniors as roommates,” said Anne Schiller, vice president for Global Studies, “the ‘ACCESS’ LLC that forms part of the Center for International Student Access, and the ‘Global Studies’ LLC for first year students.”

The building is planned to hold 272 students, as well as four two bedroom apartments for residential life staff, faculty mentors for the LLCs, and visiting international faculty. Each floor will also have a communal kitchen.

The second floor will be composed of classrooms, though not exclusively for classes related to global affairs. The classrooms will be built specifically with teleconferencing capabilities in mind as an extension onto the existing Globally Networked Learning program that links a classroom at Mason with a classroom in a foreign school.

The first floor will have a common area, a lounge, and a reception desk. It will also hold several programming spaces and a lecture hall, the purpose of which is yet to be determined. Office of International Programs and Services will be on the first floor, as well as the Center for International Student Access.

At present, the only sister site is the Russian Higher School of Economics, which shares two classes with Mason Professor Dale and Dr. Barnes. However, the Office of International Programs and Services says they’re hoping to expand this program to other countries in the coming year, particularly schools in South America.

Entrances between the lower floors and the residential areas will be restricted in a similar fashion to the interior locks in the existing buildings in the Rappahannock neighborhood.

“Access will be separate so security for the students is preserved,” Green said.

The main lobby, the globe, will hold a bank of TV’s carrying news from across the globe in several languages, a utilitarian symbol of the message Mason hopes to send with its new Rappahannock Building. 

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