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Dorms to see renovations this summer

Next House, New House, Random Hall, and Bexley Hall will be closed this summer for renovations, according to the MIT Department of Housing. Scheduled major projects include a new fire alarm and sprinkler system in New House and a new front desk for Next House.

Director of Housing Dennis Collins said the fire alarm system will be more sensitive in order to comply with regulations. The fire alarm system is the same as that which was recently installed in MacGregor and McCormick. Every room will have an installed smoke detector.

The installation of the new system may require more time than the summer can give. Collins said installation may not finish until sometime during the fall semester. In order to reduce conflict, fire alarms in bedrooms will be prioritized. Fire alarm testing in the fall will follow the installation of the new system.

Next will receive a new front desk as well as new mailboxes. The new mailboxes will use the dorm keys instead of the current combination locks. The goal is to finish the new mailbox system by the end of summer, according to Collins, but it is possible the work might run into the fall semester.

The bathrooms in Next will also be completely redone: the floor tiles, showers, and toilets will be ripped out and replaced. According to Collins, this renovation is very similar to what was done to Burton-Conner last summer.

Some walls in Bexley and Random will be repainted over the summer. According to Collins, these jobs are cycled year-to-year between the dorms. Walls will only be painted with the approval of the housemasters and dorm government. “We will never paint [over] a mural unless we talk with the student government,” Collins said.

Summer renovations of the dorms are recommended by the Housing Strategy Group, a committee that is charged “to serve as a sounding board for the deans on issues ranging from summer housing to residence hall rules to rent schedules,” according to the Division for Student Life website. Members of group include student government presidents, deans, and housemasters.

Only East Campus and MacGregor will be used for student housing this summer. Baker, Burton-Conner, McCormick, Senior House, and Simmons will be used for “program and conference guest room assignments,” according to the Housing Strategy Group’s utilization plan.

—Robert McQueen