MIT Reports to the President 1995-96


This year the Planning Office has undertaken a wide range of Institute planning projects. Some of the accomplishments of the year are listed below.

A revision of the MIT Capital Development Program, the extensive inventory of MIT's capital projects, their estimated costs, and their location on the campus was initiated to update the underlying financial models, based on changing institutional and market economic conditions. This document provides a comprehensive picture of MIT's capital needs and their implications for land and financial resources for the next ten to 15 years.

The Planning Office provided continuing support to Resource Development in preparing the fund-raising program for the proposed Engineering Complex. The need for prospective capital financial analysis and supporting graphic materials is expected to grow as MIT considers new or alternative resource development strategies.

The groundwork for major progress in the development of a geographic information system (GIS) is nearly complete. Software technologies compatible with the existing digitized campus base have been acquired and are being evaluated with the intention of implementing such a system during the next year. These efforts include consolidation of physical surveys and title research initiatives to clarify long-standing ambiguities between Cambridge and MIT land ownership records.

In an attempt to complete the land assembly for the east campus, efforts continue to acquire the former city fire station at 350 Main Street in Kendall Square.

Progress continues in support of two major roadway improvement initiatives begun last year. The first involves the Memorial Drive/Massachusetts Avenue intersection where new signals and turning lanes will improve pedestrian safety and traffic movement. The second, reconstruction of Massachusetts Avenue from Memorial Drive to Lafayette Square, will improve both safety and aesthetics along this major transportation artery. In addition, the Massachusetts Avenue reconstruction will include support for increasing the use of bicycles as a commuting option.

Parking on the campus is always an issue of great concern. This year the Institute began to charge for parking on campus. The Planning Office provided the staff support for an ad hoc task force charged with conducting a review of policies and making recommendations for change. In addition, changes effected by reengineering on such things as purchasing and distribution of mail and materials will have a significant impact on MIT's parking resources, service circulation, and pedestrian safety. The office is providing analyses and solutions to these service problems as well as continuing to provide staff support for the Institute's Parking and Transportation Committee.

The Planning Office continued its efforts to implement an academic facilities plan for the main campus. This includes occupancy analysis and planning coordination for the renovation of Buildings 16 and 56 and the related relocation options for the current occupants of Building 20. Planning coordination for the renovation of space resources in the School of Architecture and Planning also continued. The first phases of those renovations are now complete.

The proposed relocation of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science laboratories (Artificial Intelligence and the Laboratory for Computer Science) from Technology Square to the campus, to a proposed new engineering complex, continues with a recently-completed study of fund-raising opportunities.

Support of the Athletics department continued this year with the development of plans for improved tennis facilities, expanded rowing facilities, and improved security around the outdoor fields. The office also continued to provide support for the development of Phase III of the Central Athletic Facilities.

With new and renovated facilities making increasing demands on MIT's central utilities, Planning Office staff have been working closely with staff in Physical Plant to ensure that expanded utility capacity is available when needed and is integrated into the overall campus master plan.

Efforts continue to improve the availability and quality of student housing. Plans for the renovation of Senior House, the Institute's oldest student housing facility, were completed and construction is underway. Planning has also begun for the restoration of Baker House in anticipation of its 50th anniversary in 1999.

Progress continued on a comprehensive housing plan which would lead to the near-term development of graduate housing in the Albany and Sydney Street areas. In addition, the Planning Office staff are exploring ways of stimulating MIT and private sector partnerships designed to increase the housing inventory available to the MIT community.

As part of MIT's commitment to permit equal access to all of its facilities, implementation of the comprehensive barrier removal plan continued.

The office continued to provide planning and staff support to the Office of Government and Community Relations, the Real Estate Office, and Physical Plant's Space Administration section. In addition, the office continued to produce a variety of materials during the year in support of academic planning.

O. Robert Simha

MIT Reports to the President 1995-96