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I/S Considers Moving from E40

By EricSit

Having long been housed in Building E40, much of Information Systems will likely migrate to what will become W92. I/S will move to the 304 Vassar St. location sometime next year pending an architectural study and terms for acquiring the property.

"We knew for sometime that we would eventually move out of E40," said Professor James D. Bruce, vice president for I/S. Space needs to be found for I/S operations, he said. About a quarter of the department currently resides in E40.

The Sloan School of Management is likely to claim the vacated E40 space.

I/S is responsible for MIT's computing resources, including computing help, network services, and telecommunications. In addition, much of the hardware used by Athena is housed in E40.

The proposed space in W92 is about twice as large as the current E40 space. "We're aiming for a loose fit," said Thomas J. Coppeto, senior systems programmer of I/S. The building will be renovated as an office environment complete with kitchen, patio, sky lights, and underground parking garage.

I/S has been looking at a number options including E19, NW30, and N52. John R. Curry, executive vice president of MIT, advised I/S that the working environments in these administrative buildings were poor.

"That building's a dog," Curry remarked of E19 according to Coppeto.

Therefore, W92 is currently the principal site under consideration, Bruce said.

The current residents of the W92, CambridgeTechnology Partners, will be vacating this summer for a new building in Cambridge. I/S anticipates a six to nine month construction cycle.

W92 deficiencies to be resolved

There are, however, problems with the W92 site, Bruce said. These include deficiencies with the phone, network, electrical, and transportation systems.

Currently, there is only one network feed into the west side of campus. I/S would like a dual feed, Bruce said.

In addition, I/S needs sufficient emergency power in case of electrical failure. Since the department will be putting critical resources in the building, W92 should ideally be on the MIT power grid. It currently receives electrical power from Boston Edison.

To alleviate transportation problems for staff, a shuttle is being developed to connect the site with the rest of campus. The W92 site is far from main campus west even of Tang Hall.

An architectural study is underway to examine the feasibility and the costs of moving to W92 in light of these problems. The results should be available by February.

"I/S will be moving. It's just a matter of where and when," Bruce said.