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Bldg. 16 Renovations Nearing Completion

By Brett Altschul

As anyone walking to Room 26-100 can see, the renovations of Building 16 are near completion. Workers have removed almost all the barriers blocking the hallway along the building.

The entire process should be complete by April, said O. Robert Simha, director of the Planning Office. "They're pretty close to finishing up," he said. "It's not a long way off."

Although delays plagued the renovation of the adjoining Building 56, the Building 16 project is on schedule, according to Simha.

The renovations have seen the addition of a number of features to the building. The changes will also bring the building into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, said Nancy Joyce, project manager for Beacon Construction Company, the outside contractor in charge of the project.

The new features include a straight ramp between Buildings 8 and 16. The old ramp had several turns, making it somewhat difficult to navigate, Joyce said.

An elevator was also recently installed in Lobby 16. It has doors opening both on the floors of Building 16 and on the adjoining split-levels in Building 8

Currently, the lobby of Building 16 is undergoing renovation. A new vending machine area will be constructed on the first floor, along with a new entry vestibule and loading dock. There may also be enough space for the addition of an new Athena quickstation cluster, Joyce said.

People may move from Building 20 into renovated Building 16

MIT already has an occupancy permit for Building 16. This means that, even though the renovation process isn't entirely complete, people could theoretically begin moving into their new offices and laboratories now.

Many of the new occupants of the building will be coming from Building 20, which is scheduled to be torn down this year.

Simha said that areas of the building should be accessible before the entire project is completed.

This could provide relief for many students walking across campus. No direct, entirely indoor, route from Ames St. to the main group of buildings has existed since the renovations of Building 56 began in the summer of 1995.

"It depends on when you're talking about, and when work is being done on any particular level," Simha said, about when the main hallways on the floors would open, "but I think it should be relatively soon that people will be able to walk through on a relatively normal basis."