Athena lounge on fifth floor of Student Center closed for renovations
Renovations include new furniture, paint, carpeting
The Athena lounge on the fifth floor of the Student Center is currently closed for renovations. The tentative completion date is sometime between March and April, according to Gustavo Burkett, senior associate dean for diversity and community involvement, in a statement to The Tech.
Designed with input from students and faculty, the new space will be a “flexible study lounge ideal for both individual and group work,” Burkett continued. The renovations include new furniture, paint, and carpeting.
In the meantime, the Coffeehouse Lounge located on the third floor has new printers and is open to students as a study space (card access is required). The color printer that was in the Athena lounge is now on the first floor of the Student Center.
Considerations to renovate the Athena lounge first began in 2015 with a working group convened by Information Systems and Technology and the Division of Student Life. The group, which consisted of faculty and students, proposed enhancements to different spaces in the Student Center so that they would better suit the needs of students.
The Committee on Student Life — which aims to improve the quality of student living and learning environments, according to its website — revived the working group’s recommendations in spring 2018.
The CSL recommended a major renovation to the entire Student Center, and that the renovation be included in MIT’s capital campaign, according to CSL Chair Mark Bathe in an email to The Tech.
However, due to limited resources currently available, the CSL found the fifth floor Athena lounge to be one of the prime areas for immediate renovation, Bathe wrote.
The CSL felt that the Student Center was an important location particularly because “the geographic nature of this central part of MIT’s campus is isolated from shopping and dining centers in Kendall and Central Square.”
Harvard University also recently renovated their Smith Campus Center, which reopened in September 2018, according to The Crimson.