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Tosci's opening marks end of renovations

By Annabelle Boyd

Toscanini's ice cream will be open by Monday for take-out service only, according to the owner, Gus Rancatore. The arrival of Tosci's on the first floor of the Julius A. Stratton '23 Student Center leaves only one other retail area in the Student Center -- the basement slot under Tosci's -- to be filled.

The opening of Tosci's marks roughly the completion of the first and most extensive stage of the Stratton Center renovations, according to Philip J. Walsh, director of the Campus Activities Complex. At a price tag of approximately $14 million, the basement, first, second and third floors of the Student Center have all been substantially remodeled and had their retail spaces re-allocated.

The renovation project began in the summer of 1987. At the time, the project was expected to last one year and cost roughly $7 million.

Some of the businesses which have moved into the building over the past 10 months include Newbury Comics, LaVerdes, Networks, the Student Center Committee Game Room, Charlie the Tech Tailor, Council Travel, Technicuts, Tech Barber, MIT Microcomputer Center and a US Post Office.

The two remaining stages of renovation are minor when compared to the restructuring of the first stage, Walsh said. The fifth floor renovation is well underway with the expansion of Project Athena and the new Office of the Dean for Student Affairs. Fifth floor renovation plans also include the building of a medical office, an office for the campus complex operations, and an office for the Student Information Processing Board.

The last stage of renovation is the fourth floor, Walsh said. The Undergraduate Association, the Association of Student Activities, and the UA Finance Board all have plans for new space allocation, but those plans are still in the preliminary stages, he said.

Walsh said he was especially pleased with the opening last month of the Student Center information desk in the Stratton Center lobby. "At last the Student Center has an outlet for detailed information on not only its own operation but also on the operation the MIT campus in general," he said.

In order to provide an even greater variety of goods to the MIT community, space in the Stratton Center lobby has been rented out to day vendors on a day-to-day basis, Walsh added.

"The stores in the center all seem to be pleased with how things are working out for them," Walsh said.