Marymount B.L.O.G.S

In the last few days the Arlington County Board approved the redevelopment of the Ballston Campus of Marymount.  For me that redevelopment will be bittersweet.  While I know that redevelopment of that campus has be a long time in coming and promises to bring a better campus, I have become quite comfortable with it the way it is.

I am from Northern Virginia and have seen the Ballston Campus building throughout my entire life.  As it is adjacent to the highway, it has always been quite noticeable.  It has been generously described as “distinctive.”  It is distinctive indeed.  I will confess that when I was younger I thought the conspicuous Ballston campus was the entirety of Marymount.  It is a smaller university but not that small.

In my three years with Marymount, the Ballston campus is where I have met for all of my classes and I’ve only been to the main campus a handful of times.  I actually don’t even know where the bookstore is.  To me, Marymount is the Ballston Campus.

I could easily come up with a list of problems with the Ballston Campus; no place is without its faults.  I could think of the parking, elevators, or the classroom connectivity.  The new campus should surely be superior.  For me, though, it will be untested and at least initially I will be uneasy.  For now, I know all of the ins, outs, room numbers, and quirks of Ballston.  I know where and when to park, where to sit in all of the classrooms, and where all of my professor’s officers are.

I can only hope that the new building will have some residual character from the current building.  Perhaps it would take the path that the iconic Bob Peck building’s blue diamonds did as they were incorporated into the building’s replacement two blocks away.  While I have heard of an attempt at residual character for the new campus you never know how the final product will be.

I will reserve judgment on the new building until I actually see that it is superior (I’m looking at you Parking!).  For now, I lament the loss of a reliable partner.  I have worked hard to succeed at Marymount and now my ever present colleague will be no more.  I will soon be relegated to thoughts of “in my day….”  That will probably be joined with the idea of walking to class uphill, in the snow, both ways.

Of the Ballston Campus: I’ve grown accustom to its façade.

-Chris M.



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