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Sloan School to Build Headquarters

By Helana Kadyszewski

STAFF REPORTER

MIT President Charles M. Vest recently announced the approval of a location for the $250 million construction of new, more centralized headquarters for the MIT Sloan School of Management and the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

Sloan officials began initial planning on the new facility early in the summer of 1997. Currently, more than 1,100 graduate and undergraduate students at Sloan are housed in 9 buildings on the eastern end of MIT’s campus, near Kendall Square.

“We are delighted to be moving forward and to finally have our site,” said Lucinda Hill, director of Sloan Capital Projects.

Three new buildings proposed

The new site, adjacent to the current Sloan headquarters at 50 Memorial Drive, will be the cornerstone of Management Science (Course XV), as well as the new face of MIT’s east campus. Current plans call for the erection of three new buildings on the site.

“We’re aiming for a world class facility, to match our world class department,” said Richard Schmalensee ’65, dean of the Sloan School.

The site was selected with the guidance of Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners, and Sasaki Associates. Construction will require the relocation of the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology and the Burndy Library, which are both currently housed at 38 Memorial Drive.

Growing Sloan needs expansion

The $250 million project, which is now in the early design stage, will be completed in two phases. The first phase will cost an estimated $125 million, and will entail the construction of a facility which will provide much-needed student and faculty community space. Preliminary plans are already under way for dining, study and lounge areas, a few classrooms, meeting rooms, and a business center.

Schmalensee also mentioned the possibility that some form of housing might be incorporated into the final design.

“Right now we are still assessing the needs of the Sloan School, and our neighboring faculty and students in the Economics Department, along with the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences,” Schmalensee said. “We’ve done a lot of preliminary design, but we’re still looking to refine it.”

Jimmy C. Chang ’02, president of the Sloan Undergraduate Management Association, was glad to hear that the project is finally moving forward. “I think the expansion is necessary,” he said. Chang said that the growing popularity of management as an undergraduate major was one reason for the expansion, and hopes that the expansion will make a management minor more feasible.

“In the long run, this is the best move for the Sloan Community,” Chang said. “We have discussed the idea of offering a minor in course 15, but the question has always been, ‘Can we accommodate all the interested students?’”

Alumni funding drives project

The second phase of the project, which will involve construction of more classrooms, research labs, and administrative space, will be dictated by the success of fundraising efforts.

“If the building plans and the funding fall into place as we expect them to, I see us moving the faculty and the students into the new building beginning in the fall of 2006,” Hill said.

Schmalensee is optimistic that financial support from alumni and other Sloan fundraising campaigns will keep the project moving forward.