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New grad dorm to open in June

By Dave Watt

The new graduate apartments at 143 Albany Street will be open for residents beginning June 15, according to Michael S. Mills, general manager for housing and renovations. The building is the first new MIT housing to open since 1982.

Albany will house 190 new and continuing single graduate students. The new graduate students who get through a lottery will be offered one-year non-renewable leases, while the continuing students who pass a separate lottery will be offered renewable leases, as specified in the new graduate housing policy ["Grad housing policy adopted," April 20].

Although the Practical Planning Guide for New Graduate Students specifies that married students would be admitted to the new apartments, Mills said that due to city zoning restrictions, married students will not be permitted to move in to the Albany Street complex.

Rents for single rooms at Albany will be expensive. Efficiencies for one person will be $625 per month this year, and one bedroom apartments will cost $742 per month. More crowded apartments will vary from $451 per person in a two-bedroom apartment down to $345 per person in a four-bedroom.

The building is on target for <>

a June 1 opening, according to contractors at the site. As of last Thursday, though, the landscaping for the central courtyard had not begun, and the main entryway was still under construction.

The housing office is trying to encourage present Tang Hall residents to move into the new apartments by posting the layout of the new building in the entryway at Tang Hall. As of yesterday, only 19 Tang Hall residents have expressed interest in moving into the new apartments out of 259 Tang residents whose choices have been processed by the housing office, according to Judith M. Brennan, an administrative coordinator in the housing office.

Mills hopes that the extra common space designed into the new layout will make 143 Albany Street a more social apartment complex than Tang Hall is at present.

"People might deal with each other and be more social because of all of the common space, [the lack of] which, as everyone knows, is one of the drawbacks of Tang Hall," Mills said while touring the new facilities.

The new apartments are unusually spacious compared to the other graduate residences. A typical one bedroom apartment has a total of 590 square feet, in a kitchen, bath and bedroom, and about 300 square feet for a living room. The kitchen is "larger than mine at home," said Mills.

Security arrangements for the new building will be similar to those for other on-campus housing. All of the entrances to the building will be locked at all times, and only the the main entrance will be keyed for residents to use to enter, according to Karen A. Nillson, the general manager for operations in the housing office.

The building will also have a night watchman every night and a desk staffed during the day. A phone will be installed outside the main entrance for people to use to gain access to the building.

The area around the new apartments looks fairly uninviting, at first glance, because of the number of potholes and poor lighting on Albany Street itself. However, Mills believes the security situation is likely to be "no worse than Random Hall," which is located on Massachusetts Avenue not far from Central Square.

MIT is in negotiations with the city regarding the repaving and refinishing of the streets and sidewalks around the new complex, and has offered to share some of the costs, according to O. R. Simha, the MIT director of planning.

"We've discussed [redoing the roads and sidewalks] with the city. They're sympathetic, and it's a question of resources and priorities. MIT has offered to share some of those costs."

Although the apartment complex will have MIT cable, it will not be attached to the 5ESS phone system, according to Mills. Since MIT regards the building as apartments, they left it to residents to install and manage their own phones, as happens presently in Tang Hall, Mills explained.

Several very large rooms on the first floor of one of the new buildings are at present unallocated space, according to Mills. After new residents have moved in, a group of residents called a client team will be formed to consult with the housing office about possible uses for the common space.

Mills speculated that one possible use might be to open another pub, like the Thirsty Ear at Ashdown House, but the decision would be made primarily by the new residents.

Special suites designed for handicapped students have also been incorporated into the design of the new buildings. One such suite visited by The Tech was <>

a four-bedroom apartment, with two full bathrooms with handicapped access and very large common areas and kitchen facilities to accommodate wheelchairs.

Continuing students who move in this summer will sign renewable leases good until Aug. 31, 1991, according to Nillson.

New graduate students who are admitted to Albany will be offered a nine-month non-renewable lease, ending May 31, with an option to stay in their apartment until the end of summer. Those who survive a second lottery will be offered 12-month renewable leases running from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31.

Continuing students who lottery into Albany will be offered 12-month renewable leases as well.