The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 37.0°F | Partly Cloudy

Design process fro the old TRW site to begin

By Adnan H. Lawai

The design stage for a new Institute building to be constructed at 31 Ames Street, behind Building 66, is now in progress, according to Director of Planning Robert Simha MCP '57. The old building at the site was demolished in the fall of 1987 following MIT's purchase of the site in June 1986.

According to Simha, the architectural firm of Goody and Clancy has been contracted to prepare the design for the new building. The firm is presently carrying out preliminary tests at the site. The design is expected to be completed in another year. Construction will take at least another one and a half years, Simha said.

The School of Science intends to move the biology department to the new building. This would bring the department closer to the Center for Cancer Research in the Seeley G. Mudd Building (E17) and to the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research on Main Street.

The Institute at present does not have complete funds for the construction of the new building and more funding is expected, Simha said. He was uncertain exactly where the funds would come from.

The project is estimated to cost around $60 million, according to Senior Vice President William R. Dickson '56.

According to Thomas E. Shepherd, associate director of the Physical Plant, the new building "isn't yet in schematic design." The schematic design phase will begin as soon as tests on the site, which include soil tests, are complete, he said.

The TRW Corporation building which stood on the site before MIT purchased the property was vacated in the summer of 1987. TRW had been using the building for manufacturing hardware for automobiles and home appliances. The building was demolished under contract by an outside firm, Vappi & Company.

The part of the biology department which will be moving to the new building takes up 82,000 square feet, much less than the available space at the new site, said Gene M. Brown, dean of science. MIT is unsure how the additional space will be used, he said.