In addition to recommendations to demolish Bexley and the several capital projects ongoing in Kendall and Central Square, MIT started several renovation projects of its own over the past year — including renovations on Building 2 and E52, the demolition of Building 12, and the opening of the new Koch Childcare Center adjacent to Simmons.
Buildings 2 and E52
Renovations to both Building 2 and E52 are underway and expected to be completed by Summer 2015 and 2016, respectively. The two buildings housed the core of the Math and Economics departments, both of which now occupy the “swing space” in E17, E18, and E19.
Building 2 has not seen a significant renovation since it was built in 1916. According to MIT Capital Projects, one of the main themes will be “enhancement of life and learning,” with sustainability playing a central role. “From the (math) graduate student’s perspective, [the renovation] will be quite stunning,” mathematics department head Michael Sipser told The Tech in May.
Previously, the graduate student offices were dispersed throughout Building 2 with some offices in the basement. According to the MIT School of Science, the renovation will ensure that there will be more collaborative spaces, with graduate student and faculty offices opening out to meeting areas. The renovation will also bring the interior space up to modern standards and, with over half of the budget dedicated to the exterior, the building will be restored with new windows and masonry.
E52, which closed at the start of the fall semester, is expected to receive a similar treatment. The MIT Capital Projects website indicates the lower floors will be used for student-related Sloan School administration, the fourth and fifth floors will be for the Economics Department, and that there will be a glass-enclosed addition to the building to create sixth and seventh floors for conferences. Also, the trees along Memorial Drive will be replaced and other landscaping changes will occur.
In early December, it was announced that Building 12, which houses several offices including the Global Education and Career Development Offices (GECD) and the Writing and Communications Center, will be demolished as early as this summer to make way for the new Nano-Materials, Structures, and Systems Lab (nMaSS), Building 28.
Director of Campus Planning, Engineering, & Construction Richard L. Amster said that Building 12 is “a tired old building that sub-optimizes the use of space at its incredible location.” Building 12 is in close proximity to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering labs in Building 4 and the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) in Buildings 26, 36, and 38 — all areas that Amster says are critical to nMASS’s future research. The construction of nMaSS will bring together research and equipment related to nanotechnology and materials that are currently spread across several areas of campus. The new building will also include clean room space and other amenities to accommodate new research equipment.
The current tenants of Building 12 are working with the Provost’s office to find new space for the upcoming years. All of the current tenants will be moved out of the building well before the demolition starts this summer. However, the athena cluster in Building 12, which will be closed in preparation for this project, will not be replaced. The GECD will move to a new space equipped with dedicated small offices for interviews, larger staff offices, and dedicated conference room space in E39 starting this May, GECD executive director Melanie L. Parker told The Tech in December.
“The Institute is making every effort to accommodate our needs,” Parker said. “We will work hard to transcend the distance between our new office and MIT.”
Koch Childcare Center
On Oct. 1, MIT opened the David H. Koch Childcare Center or TCC Koch — the fourth of MIT’s Technology Childcare Center (TCC) facilities — at 219 Vassar Street, next to Simmons Hall. The opening of this new center supplements space currently available for children of faculty, employees, and students at Eastgate, Westgate, Stata, Lincoln, Mass. (serving all MIT affiliates including Lincoln Labs employees) and the on-campus infant care room in Building 68.
Many students and post-doctoral associates who had been in need of childcare were finally able to obtain spots with the opening of TCC Koch. As of late November, TCC Koch provided spaces for all but six of the 500 families that had been on a waiting list and indicated a need for care at the present time. Kathy L. Simons, senior program manager of childcare services and work-life policy at the MIT Work-Life Center, noted that there are 157 families on the waiting list who are still looking for care in the future.
“The opening of [TCC Koch] allowed us to meet nearly all existing demand for MIT childcare,” Simons told The Tech in November.
At the time of opening, the center featured three infant classrooms, four open toddler classrooms with a fifth set to open in the early winter, and two open preschool classrooms with a third set to open in late winter or early spring. In addition, the center features a “gross motor room,” which allows children to participate in active play such as jumping, dancing, and singing.