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Stata Center Move Begins This Week

By Kathy Dobson

STAFF REPORTER

The Department of Linguistics and Philosophy and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) will move into the Stata Center by the end of the week now that the Ray and Maria Stata Center has passed all of the necessary inspections.

“We have all the sign-offs necessary,” said Claude LeBlanc, general superintendent for Skanska USA Building Inc., the project management company in charge of the MIT Stata Center Project.

The temporary certificate of occupancy (TCO) required to start moving into the building, is “forthcoming,” LeBlanc said, but MIT did not have the papers in hand as of yesterday.

The new Student Street, including a new dining facility and several new classes, will also open this week on the first floor of Stata. Other renovations including the alumni pool and the child care center will open in June.

Construction will continue around the building until late May or early June, said LeBlanc.

The official dedication of The Stata Center will take place on May 7 and will be open to the public.

Student street to open this week

The Student Street, a long corridor running through the first floor of the building, is scheduled to open this week, said Nancy Joyce, senior project manager of The Stata Center Project.

The Student Street will provide access to several classrooms, a new childcare center, the renovated athletic facility, and a food service facility, which will be moved from Walker. The childcare center, which will open in June, is the first on-campus childcare facility at MIT, said Joyce.

Not originally in the design, Joyce said that the Student Street will be “a great addition to campus.”

Construction to continue

Construction will continue on and around The Stata Center until the end of May or early June, said LeBlanc.

The final touches on the landscape will begin after the construction trailer is moved off the site in mid-April, said Joyce. Landscaping will continue until June.

Exterior construction, such as the installation of pavers, will also continue but may be delayed. “It looks like we’re falling behind due to the weather,” said construction worker Jay Rivera.

Building 57, which currently houses the alumni pool, will continue to be renovated and will open in June, said Joyce. The completed building will have a new locker room, a renovated lobby area, and an additional fitness and aerobics studio. The new facility will be run by the Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation.

Joyce said that the athletics facility will be “a whole new asset” for the MIT community “that never existed before” and hopes that it will be an active and vibrant addition to the campus.

Construction crew, faculty excited

After six years of planning and construction, the construction crew and faculty are excited about the move. The Stata Center is “probably the best building I’ve worked on,” said Ed Dubois, a construction superintendent for Skanska.

“This is a once in a lifetime project,” LeBlanc said, “I’ve really grown to love this building.”

“I’m looking forward to [the move],” said Vincent Chan, director of the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS). “Hopefully we will be closer” to the other labs.

The certificate of occupancy, a permanent certificate which will replace the TCO, is not expected until June.

The Department of Linguistics and Philosophy is scheduled to move into The Stata Center on Thursday while CSAIL, which currently occupies 200 Tech Square (Building NE43), is scheduled to move between March 19 to March 28, said Christopher J. Terman, associate director of CSAIL. LIDS is scheduled to move in over Patriots Day weekend. Most of the LIDS faculty currently occupies Building 35.