New dorm to be built on West Campus

Group convened to study issues that shape dorm design

A new dorm will be constructed on West Campus with the goal of opening in 2019. Its current location and building plans are undecided.

MIT is looking to add 700 new beds to its undergraduate housing system, wrote Vice President for Student Life Suzy M. Nelson in a statement emailed to The Tech.

Plans to convert the Metropolitan Storage Warehouse on Mass Ave into a dorm were scrapped last February due to “design, age, and schedule challenges,” Nelson wrote. The administration is currently determining which location would be most feasible for the placement of a new dorm, a process that includes studying zoning requirements.

Kim Haberlin, Senior Communications Officer for the Chancellor, wrote in an email to The Tech that it was “important that we...prevent any misinformation from spreading” regarding the plans or location for a new dorm, and that no decisions have been made on either point.

In order to study “issues that shape ideal residence hall design,” Nelson convened the Architectural Principles for MIT Undergraduate Residences Group on August 19.

The group is comprised of faculty, staff, and students, including various members of DormCon. It will compile information from MIT community input, external sources, and similar studies, such as the MetX Student Advisory Report, the West Campus Study, and the work done by the Student Housing Advisory Committee.

DormCon President Kate Farris ’17 emailed all undergraduate residences inviting students to “join the conversation” and receive “detailed updates” by adding themselves to the mailing list “We will be sending drafts and and topics to the mailing list… over the next few weeks,” she wrote.

In her email, Farris also explained that the Architectural Principles for MIT Undergraduate Residences Group will finalize their document that “describes the general architectural principles of an MIT undergraduate dorm” by September 15, at which time the document will be submitted to MIT campus planners. Students can submit feedback via the above mailing list until September 12.

Deliberations about the future of New House are separate from the work of the Architectural Principles Group, according to Nelson. No decision has yet been made about whether the dorm will be renovated or demolished, Nelson and Chancellor Barnhart recently told New House residents.

In either case, residents will need to relocate at the end of this academic year, and construction would be completed by the start of the fall 2019 semester. Nelson and Barnhart told the residents and house team that “MIT fully appreciates the importance of their community, and will work with them to find balanced, fair solutions during this transition period.”