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Demolition begins at 219 Vassar

The demolition of the building at 219 Vassar St. began yesterday and is set to conclude by Nov. 15. The site will house the new TCC (Technology Children’s Center) Vassar daycare, which is slated to open by next August.

Simmons Hall residents can expect noise during work hours from 8 a.m. to about 4 p.m. every weekday, said Dick Amster, director of campus planning, engineering, and construction. While some weekend work is possible, Amster “doesn’t believe it is anticipated.”

Work will begin on the far side of the site, so hopefully “the building should shield Simmons from the noise as we get started,” said Amster. Residents can also expect increased truck traffic on Vassar St. as a result of the demolition.

In an email to the official Simmons list, Ellen Essigmann PhD ’80, Simmons housemaster, mentioned that the north sidewalk of Vassar might be closed for the duration of the construction. While there may be times when it has to be closed, “the goal is to keep it open,” assured Amster.

Demolition is scheduled to finish by Nov. 15, after which Facilities will begin to remove soil and start digging in the area, which should be done by the end of the calendar year. This work is to replace the site with more suitable soil for the daycare. Foundation and utilities work will go through March, and in April the construction of the new building will begin. The building is modular, and pieces of the structure will be manufactured elsewhere and mailed to MIT for a rapid assembly — ideally by the end of June.

“That’s the plan,” said Amster. “It’s always subject to change if there are issues that occur outside of our control.”

The center, which will open 126 daycare spots on campus, will more than double the number of child care slots on campus, which is currently at 142. The construction was made possible by a donation from David H. Koch ’62 and Charles W. Johnson ’55 and Jennifer Johnson.

“When we’re doing project we always try to be good neighbors,” Amster said. “People should know to get in touch with Richard Quade, our senior project manager. If people have issues let us know what they are and we will try to address them.”

Richard Quade can be reached at rquade@plant.mit.edu.

—Jessica J. Pourian