• The Zesiger Sports and Fitness center as seen from the roof of the Johnson Athletics Center, now taking shape between Kresge Auditorium, the Stratton Student Center and Rockwell Cage (left foreground).

    Photo / Donna Coveney

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  • Looking through the evolving concrete-grid exterior of Simmons Hall, the undergraduate residence being built on Vassar Street.

    Photo / Donna Coveney

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  • A bird's-eye view from atop Building 54 of the Stata Center site, flanked by Building 26 (left), East Garage (right) and the Alumni Pool (center foreground).

    Photo / Donna Coveney

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Campus buzzing with many construction projects

MIT is experiencing one of the biggest construction booms in its history, and the Department of Facilities has taken measures to help Commencement Day run smoothly.

No major construction will take place near the main campus on June 8. Facilities has asked the City of Cambridge to temporarily halt construction on the storm drain project between Memorial Drive and Albany Street. In addition, sidewalks near the Commencement routes on Massachusetts Avenue will be repaired to eliminate uneven surfaces. Some protective fencing will be installed along walkways, and Amherst Street will be paved to smooth the way for the procession of graduates.

Following is a list of the major projects now going on, with their projected completion dates. See http://web.mit.edu/buildings/ for details.


A major restoration and renovation of the lobby will include cleaning and restoring the walls, columns and dome; restoring the original 1930s lighting and adding new fixtures; and restoring the glass block skylight, which has been covered since World War II. Completion is expected in August 2001. Architect: Einhorn, Yaffee Prescott.


Laboratory facilities and infrastructure are being renovated and modernized to meet today's research demands and to enhance life-safety systems. Completion expected in August 2003. Architect: Goody, Clancy & Associates.


The Media Laboratory will double its capacity after expanding onto an adjacent site. The new structure will house a range of research and educational programs relating to the future of information and learning technologies. Completion is expected in fall 2003. Design architect: Fumihiko Maki/Maki & Associates. Executive architect: Leers Weinzapfel Associates.


Floor slabs are now being placed for the 713,000-square-foot Ray and Maria Stata Center for Computer, Information and Intelligence Sciences. The building at the corner of Vassar and Main Streets on the former site of Building 20 will include office and research space, a student street, a large lecture hall, four classrooms and a child care center. The major donors for the complex are Ray (SB 1957) and Maria Stata. Completion is expected in fall 2003. Architect: Frank O. Gehry & Associates. Associate architect: CANNON.


A sports and fitness center between the Johnson Athletics Center and the Stratton Student Center will include a 50-meter pool, recreation and team locker rooms, and a health and fitness center. The major donors for the building are Albert (SB 1951) and Barrie Zesiger. Completion is expected in summer 2002. Design architect: Kevin Roche, John Dinkeloo & Associates. Executive architect: Sasaki Associates, Inc.


This Progressive Architecture Award-winning building will house 350 undergraduates on Vassar Street across from the athletic fields. The building is designed in an open plan with public and private spaces for the residents including study lounge areas and computer rooms. The major donors are Richard P. Simmons (SB 1953) and family. Completion is expected in August 2002. Design architect: Steven Holl Architects. Associate architect: Perry Dean Rogers & Partners.


This graduate residence will result from conversion of an early 20th-century mill building (Building NW30) to efficiency-apartment-style housing for first-year graduate students. Completion is expected in August 2001. Architect: S/L/A/M Collaborative.


Designed to increase housing availability to MIT students, this building will include facilities for a resident faculty housemaster, social and recreational spaces for residents and a landscaped courtyard. Completion is expected in August 2002. Architect: Steffian Bradley Associates, Inc.


The installation of new utility lines (steam, chilled water, fire protection, electrical and telecommunications ducts) behind West Garage will support the Simmons Hall, the Zesiger Center and the Stata Center. Completion is expected in October 2002. Engineering firm: SEA Consultants, Inc.


Large underground drain pipes being installed by the City of Cambridge will provide significant drainage improvements and should relieve overflow problems during heavy storms. Completion is expected in fall 2001. Sponsor: Cambridge Department of Public Works.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 6, 2001.

Topics: Campus buildings and architecture, Campus services


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