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Large classes will have to find other venues next semester, as 10-250 will be undergoing renovations beginning during the Independent Activities Period and extending into the spring semester.
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The lecture hall 10-250 will be closed for renovation during January’s Independent Activities Period and the spring semester. Large classes traditionally held in 10-250 will move to other venues for the spring.

The renovation will upgrade 10-250 with new “seating, carpeting, lighting, heating, ventilation, and cooling,” Assistant Registrar Peter D. Bedrosian said. There will be several audiovisual equipment updates, including cameras dedicated to record classes for archiving on OpenCourseWare, which provides free online course materials.

“We are working hard to keep it at its current capacity [of 450] without impacting the front of the room,” Registrar Mary Callahan said. The front of the room must remain spacious and “optimal viewing” from all angles must be maintained, she said. “10-250 is such an important space for the teaching mission and student life at the Institute. The Institute needs a major lecture hall.”

The project cost was roughly estimated to be “several million” dollars from a feasibility study completed over the summer, Bedrosian said. A final cost will be determined by the contractors, O’Conner Construction, brought on the project last month.

Demolition will take place during IAP and construction will begin in February, Bedrosian said. The project will be substantially completed by the beginning of August, leaving a month “for punch list items and to allow faculty to orient themselves to the new audiovisual and lighting controls” before the fall term starts, he added.

The results of the feasibility study were presented in September to the Committee for the Review of Space Planning, which approves funding for Institute renovations. CRSP approved the project to “move forward through the schematic design phase,” said Bedrosian. And at the end of this phase, a schematic design estimate will be presented to CRSP for final project approval.

Bedrosian said it was preferable to renovated during the spring and summer because “room usage overall is lighter during this period” and just the summer along would not have been sufficient time to complete the upgrades before next fall.

According to Assistant Registrar Wayne Johnson, there are usually eight large classes in 10-250 in the spring: 7.013 (Introductory Biology), 7.05 (General Biochemistry), 9.00 (Introduction to Psychology), 18.03 (Differential Equations), 1.00 (Introduction to Computers and Engineering Problem Solving), 5.12 (Organic Chemistry I), 5.561 (Chemistry in Industry), and 6.002 (Circuits and Electronics). Of these, 18.03 and 7.013 have the most students with approximately 700 and 350, respectively.

“[Lecture hall] 26-100 will find more use this spring semester than usual because of the 10-250 remodeling,” Johnson said. Most of the classes usually held in 10-250 have been moved to 26-100. The two 18.03 lectures have been relocated to 34-101. Many other classes also had to be relocated to make room for the displaced 10-250 classes.

She added that the renovations are expected to “greatly enhance the teaching and learning environment for our faculty and students.” Also “because the room is used so much by so many other groups outside of classes, it was the most important space to get renovated first,” said Bedrosian.

10-250 has not been fully renovated since 1978, according to Callahan. The project “has been on the list for a couple of years now” and is expected to “greatly enhance the teaching and learning environment for our faculty and students.”

“Because the room is used so much by so many other groups outside of classes, it was the most important space to get renovated first,” Bedrosian said.

The 10-250 renovations continue the Registrar Office’s ongoing work to meet the goal of Project 2000 — initiated in 1988 — to renovate all rooms on campus by the year 2000. Of the 158 classrooms managed by the Registrar’s Office, 90 have been renovated since 1988, Callahan said. Pending approval, there are also plans to renovate the other large lecture halls, such as 26-100 and 54-100, in the near future, Bedrosian said.

The architect hired for the project, Tommy Quirk, also designed the Pappalardo laboratories in Building 3 and lecture halls 3-270 and 3-370.