On May 16, MIT launched the MIT 2030 website, which is meant to serve as a workspace for communicating plans for campus development in order to engage the MIT community in envisioning the Institute’s future. This informational website is a precursor to a more illustrative site currently under development.
MIT 2030 is described on the site as a “comprehensive planning process” that will further the Institute’s mission — to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology and other fields to serve the nation and the world — through the renovation and construction of buildings for research, academics and student life. The website includes a flyover tour of MIT, narrated by MIT President Susan Hockfield, that explains the current state of the campus and potential sites for renewal and growth.
“Drawing on insights from faculty and student leaders, donors and alumni, MIT 2030 is not a fixed plan. Rather, it's an ongoing process, a tool for envisioning — and inventing — a vibrant future for our physical campus and the innovation district close by,” Hockfield writes in her introductory letter on the site’s homepage.
Current MIT 2030 priority projects for the 2010-20 period include a nano facility focused on materials research at the nanoscale (the nMaSS), considered the highest-priority project for the schools of science and engineering. An energy and environment building is also envisioned to bring together many faculty, students and researchers from the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences; the MIT Energy Initiative; and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
During the first decade, it is anticipated that several campus buildings will be renovated — such as Building 2 of the Main Group for the Department of Mathematics — and, in certain cases, repurposed to address student and faculty needs and interests. For example, Walker Memorial (Building 50) may be renovated to house the music and theater arts sections, and may include space for teaching and extracurricular arts activities. Building E52, constructed in 1938 and not significantly upgraded since, may get a full renovation to accommodate updated facilities for the Department of Economics, a contemporary conference center and some Sloan School of Management programs. To see more ideas, visit the Campus Activity page.
The first decade of MIT 2030 is estimated to call for $1.5 billion of capital expenditures, approximately half supported by fundraising and half debt-financed. MIT recently announced that it sold $750 million of “century bonds” set to mature in 2111 at an interest rate of 5.6 percent. The proceeds from the bonds, combined with future gifts and internal funding sources, will provide MIT with flexibility in scope and timing to carry out the priorities emerging from the MIT 2030 process. The goal is for fundraising to provide the majority of support for new buildings as well as whole-building renovations, while the remaining work, which might not readily lend itself to fundraising, would be supported through the proceeds from the century bonds.
Of the $1.5 billion of potential expenditures in the first decade, approximately two-thirds involve renovation and renewal and one-third involves new research facilities for high-technology needs that cannot be met by renovations. The renovation projects include partial- and whole-building renovations as well as upgrades and capital renewal of campus infrastructure, such as roofs and elevators.
Also included in MIT 2030 are plans for the revitalization of Kendall Square into an area with lively retail, dining and entertainment options. The MIT Investment Management Company will undertake plans for the area according to their recent Kendall Square redevelopment proposal. This effort will not be supported by proceeds from the century bonds.