Following the March 30, 2006, meeting of the NW35 Stakeholders Committee, MIT has decided to move forward with the construction of the NW35 Graduate Residence Hall.
Graduate students, faculty and MIT administrators have been diligently working together in subcommittees to determine recommendations to be presented to the NW35 Stakeholders Committee. At the March 30, 2006, meeting of the NW35 Stakeholders Committee, the Space Subcommittee presented its recommendations on program, programmatic spaces and room types. Additionally, at this March 30, 2006, meeting, statements of intent regarding rent structure were made. Highlights of these recommendations and statements of intent are presented below.
The program for NW35 calls for generous programmatic spaces for fostering community and unit types which include a diversity of options (i.e. efficiencies, two-bedroom apartments, three-bedroom apartments, and three-bedroom "lite" units without kitchens or living rooms). The diversity of room types provides graduate students with a wide range of financial options.
A summary of the program highlights as specified in the Space Subcommittee recommendation is listed below:
- This program will include approximately 211 efficiencies, 50 two-bedroom apartments, 32 three-bedroom apartments, and 50 three-bedroom "lite" units (without amenities). Student members of the Stakeholders Committee view the 50 three-room "lite" units as a vital part of the program diversity and a priority.
- The Stakeholders Committee has provided a two-year pilot program to judge the viability of the current three-bedroom-without-amenities program. Should these three-bedroom units be unable to demonstrate full occupancy, physical modifications to return these units back to their original two-bedroom-apartment program will occur.
- Common space to include exercise facilities, performance/lounge space, a large multipurpose community room, space for the potential of a dining option, floor lounge/kitchens and the relocation of the Thirsty Ear Pub. The size of this common space has been agreed upon, as stated in the Space Subcommittee report (PDF).
- The Space Subcommittee would like to explore increasing the floor lounge/kitchens to 10 at approximately 400 square feet each.
- The Space Subcommittee would like to explore increasing the "Crafts Lounge" to 800 square feet to meet its programmatic needs.
In regard to the rent structure of the NW35 Graduate Residence, it is the intent of the Stakeholders' Committee that MIT strive for a break-even date of 2020 (i.e., the date when rents in NW35 will be able to pay fully for the yearly mortgage and direct operating costs). Furthermore, it is intended that the rent structure of NW35 fully accommodate its own construction and operation costs. Finally in regard to the rent structure, it is intended that the rents to be charged in the pilot program of three-bedroom "lite" units be significantly less than those charged for the two-bedroom units.
As MIT moves to the next phase of the NW35 project, it seeks to continue the collaboration between students, faculty and administrators. The mandate of the Stakeholders Committee itself explicitly continues throughout the construction phase, and it is intended that new committees that arise in the course of the construction phase, including any smaller group that must deal with specific construction issues on a potential faster time-scale, will include student and faculty representatives. All students and faculty members of the Stakeholders Committee will be kept apprised of any relevant issues or activities as soon as possible.
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