Housing and Residential Services organizes Q&A for McCormick Hall residents

McCormick Hall, the sole all-female on-campus residence, will be closed from 2025 to 2027 for renovations

McCormick Hall has been marked for a comprehensive renewal project beginning in 2025 as part of MIT’s 2030 campus renovation plan. The initiative aims to enhance the living experience for future occupants by addressing the residence hall’s aging infrastructure.

The Tech attended a meeting where Housing and Residential Services (HRS) representatives engaged in a question and answer (Q&A) session with current McCormick Hall residents on March 14. David Friedrich, Senior Associate Dean for Student Life justified the renovation, stating that the building had been constructed in the 1960s and had not undergone significant renovations since then.

The project, slated to commence in June 2025, will require all residents to relocate during the construction period, anticipated to last for two academic years. Freidrich said "An empty building allows work to be completed more efficiently and avoids impacts to residents, such as utility shutdowns, multiple relocations, and noise."

Questions were posed regarding the physical changes happening to the residence during renovation. McCormick will not have air conditioning, Friedrich said, unless a space had it previously. Friedrich noted that the plan for renovation is to improve ventilation, plumbing, and elevators, issues that have plagued the current structure. Current rooms will be largely retained, with the exception of one lounge on each floor being converted into a double, Friedrich added. 

McCormick residents present at the (Q&A) session expressed concern over the continuity of community during the renovation process, highlighting the need for an all women’s living space. Friedrich did not present specifics, stating, “We would like to get the transition team going as fast as we can…we will be partnering with everyone on that, how we can support those conversations.”

Friedrich noted designated genders for restrooms in other dormitories as a measure of “awareness” surrounding the issue. He added that, “religious accommodations are important… and those policies already exist.” McCormick is the only residence hall on-campus with Halal-certified meals. Friedrich said that the issue was “being worked on.”

Friedrich also assured residents of HRS' commitment to addressing these needs, emphasizing collaboration with other houses to explore viable solutions. Freidrich also noted the support for McCormick students during the relocation period, outlining a comprehensive support structure involving “heads of house, house teams, and Graduate Resident Advisors (GRAs)” to “ensure continuity of community programs and traditions.”

Raul Radovitsky, Head of House, said, “we will get a space to do our monthly barbecues, to do pizza making, and other traditions.” He added that “it would require more energy and involvement to keep the community together” but likened the situation to the pandemic: during the time, “it was really the residents that helped keep us together, doing all sorts of things over Zoom.” It is the “energy” of the students that will help McCormick “come back stronger,” Radovitsky stated.

Tasha Coppett from HRS noted similarly about “maintaining the HOH, GRAs, area directors, and community liaisons” and “having CPW to showcase what McCormick is, even without the principal space.” Friedrich used East Campus as an example, noting, “there is a space in the Student Center basement for East Campus as a community, and we’ve been working with them on how to replicate that and showcase that to the community.” 

Tilly Swanson '25, on McCormick House Government, noted, “We also want to keep house government structure to maintain continuity, and we need freshmen and sophomores.” She continued, “there was not a lot of involvement this year, but if residents want things to be the same or better, they need to get involved.”

Friedrich urged individuals interested in learning more about the renovation or joining the transition team to reach out to