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Institute Dedicates New Dorm

By Maral Shamloo

MIT finally dedicated the new graduate dormitory at 224 Albany Street, commonly known as The Warehouse.

MIT President Charles M. Vest spoke at yesterday’s ceremony, noting the significant contribution the new dormitory makes toward housing graduate students on campus.

“The opening of 224 Albany St. is a huge step toward one of MIT’s longstanding goals to accommodate 50 percent of graduate students on campus, and also part of general physical enhancement of campus,” Vest said.

The new dorm houses about 120 first year graduate students in studio-style apartments. Each has a small kitchen and bathroom.

Minor construction continues

Most residents were temporarily housed in the University Park Hotel while contractors finished construction. The building is fully occupied now, but work still continues.

“All the rooms were ready when we moved in, but communal areas, such as laundry, weight room and first floor lobby still needed work.” said resident Arundhati Singh G, who lives in NW30. “The work is nearly finished, but there are minor jobs which still need to be done.”

Since the building is not connected to MIT’s main water supply yet, a temporary water tank is used to provide hot water.

“I have never experienced a shortage of hot water, but the pressure is low sometimes,” said Sripriya Natarajan G, one of the dorm’s eight Resident Advisors.

“We are expecting this problem to be resolved by the end of fall at latest,” said Steven R. Lerman ’72, housemaster of The Warehouse.

In addition to the water supply, there are currently some problems with the air conditioning. “I am not supposed to turn my A/C off and the noise drives me mad sometimes,” said Sanjit Sethi G.

“There are two types of A/C in the rooms. One type works fine, but there are problems with the other one. Most of them don’t work at all.” said Anthony E. Gray PhD ’01, a Residential Life Associate.

“This is just a matter of balancing the air in each radiator, and may take couple of weeks, but is not something of major significance or long-term inconvenience” said Jack Ahern, the house manager.

Residents enjoy new community

Despite the ongoing work, most students are excited about living in The Warehouse.

“What I love about here is its ability to form a community. Even the architecture helps this purpose,” Natarajan said.

“While finding comfortable and affordable accommodation is a difficult task for graduate students, opening of this new Residential Hall is a great achievement.” said Christina E Silcox G, the house president, in her speech at the dedication. “Living on campus is an MIT experience. Suddenly MIT is not only a place where your lab is, but it becomes a home. Students have created a community already in NW30. This is evident from in the way they supported each other through the tragedy of two weeks ago.”

Apart from its brick walls, the building, a renovated warehouse formerly known as Building NW30, is scarcely recognizable as its former self.

“The planning started about 18 months ago but the actual construction started only last year. It has been a very tight schedule for a project of this size.” Lerman said.