Construction continues despite pandemic


Interior work has even been started. This is the view of the ductwork on the third floor. (Photo via FCCPS)

Ella Gilmore, Staff Reporter

In future years, when our children and grandchildren ask us what it was like to live through the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ll think of the months spent at home and the countless hours of the day spent watching every movie available on Netflix. We’ll think of how quiet it was without all the cars and traffic, and how pronounced the sounds of nature can be. However, not everyone has had the quietest quarantine. In fact, construction crews at the site of the new George Mason High School are still working around the clock, building and banging away to keep the school on track to finish in December of 2020. 

While the progress was originally stalled due to a concern over materials, the problem over availability during the pandemic has been solved, and the project continues to remain on schedule and on budget. In an update on April 17, FCCPS Superintendent Dr. Peter Noonan assured members of the community that the construction of the new high school will continue to move forward.

A view of an empty building
Even with the recent complications, significant progress has still been made on the face of the north side of the building. (Photo courtesy FCCPS)

We are excited to see the exteriors of the new building going up and the interior beginning to take shape,” he said. 

Noonan even attached several photos of the progress that has been made, including the north building façade and third-floor ductwork and mechanical piping. 

Later in the month, on April 22, FCCPS Communications sent out a picture of the turf field from the view of the construction site, lamenting the fact that it will remain empty for the rest of spring. 

“This new view of the Mustang’s home turf is currently available only to construction workers, but in nine months it will be a reality for all staff and students of George Mason HS,” they stated.

The notice also said that the construction is still on schedule, and that the crew is “working to achieve the ‘dry-in’ phase when interior work will begin.”

Mr. Shawn Northrip, the George Mason High School theatre director, stands in the future home of the GMHS Theatre program. (Photo via Shawn Northrip)

“You will start to see scaffolding erected around the building soon so air barrier and masonry work can follow,” the statement said in conclusion. 

Now almost fifty days into the quarantine, Dr. Noonan continues to reassure the families and friends of the Falls Church City community. 

“The construction teams are utilizing social distancing practices and have even had to modify how they work (for example-hanging drywall) to ensure appropriate distancing,” he said in an interview.

“My hope for our community is that we continue to follow the guidance of our local health department and social distance, wear masks when in public, wash our hands often, and use good judgment for the betterment of our community.”