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Fitness Center Gets OK From Cambridge

MIT will proceed with building the new athletics center on 100 Vassar Street after receiving an Interim Planning Overlay Proposal (IPOP) permit from the Cambridge Planning Board last Tuesday.

The IPOP permit, required by Cambridge for projects greater than 50,000 square feet, was given to MIT despite an appeal by the attorney for John J. Donovan citing faults in MIT’s traffic analysis for the facility. Donovan is the founder of Cambridge Executive Enterprises, a management consulting firm close to the new athletics center.

In February, Cambridge Executive Enterprises appealed MIT's IPOP proposal for the new undergraduate dormitory, also to be built on Vassar Street and scheduled for completion in September 2002. MIT is still resolving that issue with the company.

The new athletics center will be located between Johnson Athletics Center and Du Pont and is scheduled to be built during the summer of 2002, said Daniel Martin, assistant department head for facilities and operations. Martin said that construction will begin shortly after the Du Pont renovations are complete in the next few weeks.

The facility will include an Olympic-sized swimming pool, international-sized squash courts, a medical treatment area, locker rooms, a multi-purpose room, and laundry facilities.

-- Naveen Sunkavally