W2 May Be Used as HousingBy Nicole A. Sherry
As part of a solution for the overcrowded conditions in the dormitories,the religious center, which is currently in building W2 near McCormick Hall, will be moved to building W11 by the Spring of 1994. This change will enable the buildings W2 and W2a to be used for housing.
Building W11 is now the home of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS), but the research program by that group is being phased out.
Two plans are being considered for the conversion of W2 and W2a to housing, according to William R. Dickson, senior vice-president of MIT. The more likely one would make the two buildings into all-female undergraduate housing. The second possibility would make the buildings residences for the housemasters of Ashdown House and McCormick and convert the current living spaces of those housemasters to student rooms, he added.
This project is still in the planning stages, but the administration wants to get this done as quickly as possible.
"My goal is to bring this additional housing on-line by September 1994. I hope we can achieve it," Dickson said.
Building W11 will then house the offices of the religious chaplains and student activities which are religious in nature. The Kosher Kitchen, which is now in the Blue Room in Walker Memorial, will also be moved to Building W11. This dining facility may also serve as a Muslim dining facility.
There will be a seminar room, a small reference library, and a video room which might have a satellite connection to be used for religious and cultural programming. There will also be a semi-restricted space for a Muslim temple to replace the one which is currently in the basement of Ashdown.
"Most of the activities will center around uses that would be consistent with its proximity to the chapel," Dickson said.
"This space is designed to be as inter-religious as possible. I hope that it will allow ample opportunity for mixing," said Father Bernard J. Campbell, the Roman Catholic chaplain.
Although the conversion of this building is still in the preliminary stages, it is set to be finished as early as January 1994, and no later than June 1994, according to Father Campbell.
Any continuation of CAVS research will be determined at a later date.