New House construction schedule accelerated by one year

Residence halls continue to develop relocation plans, expect February release

New House renovations are expected to be complete in time for full occupancy for fall 2018, according Jennifer Hapgood-White, associate director of housing assignments, in an email sent to New House residents and residence hall house teams Jan. 5.

The original expected time of completion was a year later, in the fall of 2019. The new timeline will require “potentially disruptive construction work during vacations and over IAP,” Hapgood wrote.

MIT Campus Planning and Campus Construction accelerated the construction schedule after gaining “a better understanding about what the renovation requires” and assembling the construction team more rapidly than expected, Suzy Nelson, the vice president of student life, wrote in an email to The Tech.

New House residents will be surveyed for dorm and room preferences late January through mid-February before being issued an assignment. Residents may choose to not accept their assignment and join the regular, school-wide lottery for switching residence halls in March.

During this time, DormCon will help organize “mini open houses” starting later this month for New House residents to explore their residence options and inform their preferences, Nelson wrote.

Staff in the Division of Student Life are considering temporarily leasing a house in Boston to supplement the available residential space for displaced New House residents during renovations.

Residential Life & Dining is still working with residence hall house teams to determine where and how New House residents and incoming freshmen will be housed. The relocation plan, indicating how additional residents — both relocated New House students and incoming freshmen — will be accommodated, will be announced to all undergraduates in February.

Some Heads of House do not appear to be well-informed about the status of relocation planning: Rob Miller, head of East Campus, was unaware that the relocation plan is to be announced February, while Larry Sass, head of MacGregor House, said that he had “lost track” of the situation in an email to The Tech.

The New House renovation will also provide an opportunity to make improvements to residence halls that will take on New House residents or additional freshmen as a result of the relocations, according to Nelson. Possible improvements include kitchen upgrades and amenities such as couches and tables to expand available study and community space.