Preparation for construction of MIT's new brain and cognitive sciences project will affect the northeast area of campus in several ways over the coming weeks. Among the changes:
Building 45 at 45 Vassar St., the former home of the Department of Facilities' Design and Construction and Capital Projects groups, will be demolished starting next week. The decorative butterflies that adorned the building's exterior have been removed and will soon be installed on Building 44.
For a short time after Building 45 comes down, pedestrians will be directed through the space formerly occupied by the building as part of the reconstruction on Vassar Street. In coming months, they should look for signs directing them through the area near the construction site.
The Albany Street "open lot" has closed. Approximately 150 members of the MIT community who had been parking there have been temporarily redirected to the Technology Square parking garage (between 200 and 400 Technology Square) until the Stata Center parking facility opens in June. Signs announcing the change have been placed at the Albany Street lot.
Test piles will be driven in the Albany lot during the week of April 21, which will be heard in the immediate area. The Albany garage will be closed on Saturday, April 26 as part of this activity.
Most of the construction noise associated with this project will occur this summer. Pile driving, the loudest and most disruptive portion of construction, will occur between May and August. Beginning in September, the steel exterior of the building will begin to go up. The first occupants of the new buildings are scheduled to move in during the fall of 2005.
The brain and cognitive sciences project will integrate the study of neuroscience, cognitive science, imaging technology, genetic science, and molecular and cellular biology. The project will serve three primary groups: the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and the Picower Center for Learning and Memory.
Groundbreaking ceremonies for the project's individual buildings will take place later this spring. The ceremony for the Picower Center for Learning and Memory is scheduled for Friday, April 25, and the ceremony for the McGovern Institute for Brain Research is scheduled for Monday, May 19.
For more information, go to http://web.mit.edu/evolving/projects/cogsci.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 9, 2003.