13 September 2006
To Members of the MIT Community:
Over the last several years, we have opened a number of important new and renovated facilities to support academic work and community life on our campus—most recently, the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Complex dedicated last December. I write today to bring you up to date on our plans for continued campus development to support the Institute's mission of teaching and research.
Last week, the Executive Committee of the Corporation formally approved our moving ahead with two critical new projects. First, construction is scheduled to begin in February on the new Media Laboratory building. Adjacent and connected to the existing Wiesner Building, the new building will facilitate increased collaboration between the Lab and the School of Architecture and Planning—including the Design Lab, the Center for Advanced Visual Studies, and the Visual Arts Program—and MIT's program in Comparative Media Studies, all of which will be housed in the complex. Second, site work will begin in March on the new building for the MIT Sloan School of Management, which will occupy a site extending from Memorial Drive to Main Street, adjacent and connected to the existing Sloan Building. Private philanthropy is absolutely essential for ambitious projects such as these; we are profoundly grateful to the many alumni and friends who have already committed their generous support. We also owe special thanks to Deans Adèle Naudé Santos and Richard Schmalensee for their tireless efforts to make these projects a reality.
At the same meeting, we briefed the Executive Committee on developments with respect to badly needed new facilities for the Center for Cancer Research. As our plans have developed, it has become clear that MIT can amplify its current strength at the convergence of the life sciences and engineering by building a single new structure to house the CCR and an approximately equal number of faculty working in closely related fields in bioengineering, along with core technology laboratories. The proposed site, adjacent to the David H. Koch Biology Building and the Ray and Maria Stata Center, will add to the growing life science and engineering activities at the intersection of Vassar and Main Streets. A foundational gift from alumnus and trustee David H. Koch has kicked off fundraising for the building.
These three new buildings join a number of important projects already underway or approved for construction. We anticipate the completion of most of the PDSI project next March, providing new and newly renovated space for the Departments of Physics and Material Sciences and Engineering and the Spectroscopy Laboratory in buildings 4, 6, and 8 and the adjacent courtyard. This exciting project will serve as a model for further renovation of the Main Group in the years ahead. We are also moving ahead to consolidate the research laboratories for the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology in renovated spaces in E25, in a project that will also relocate laboratories for the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences from E34. In addition, as I noted in a recent letter to the community, we have begun work on the new graduate residence at 235 Albany Street and on improvements to Vassar Street west of Massachusetts Avenue. More information on the full range of our new campus development program will be posted to this web site as plans develop.
MIT's new capital projects will allow our faculty and students to do their very best work while continuing to strengthen the life of our Institute community. Our investments will amplify our work in critical, high-impact areas of education and research—fields that will improve human health, strengthen entrepreneurship and economic growth, and address pressing social needs. The successful execution of these varied and complex projects will require intensive collaborations within and beyond the Institute community. In particular, we look forward to continuing our strong working relationship with the City of Cambridge. We will keep the MIT community and our neighbors informed of significant milestones and will make every effort to minimize the disruption that necessarily accompanies major construction activity.
This next phase in the development of our campus will help ensure that MIT continues to lead in generating new knowledge, fueling innovation, and educating leaders. I look forward to sharing our progress with you.