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Two appointed to oversee major construction projects

Two major positions in the capital projects area of the Department of Facilities have now been filled with the appointment of alumna Deborah Poodry as director of capital project development and Paul R. Curley as director of capital construction.

"Deborah and Paul will be management partners who have responsibility for coordinating and delivering capital projects," said Victoria Sirianni, director of Facilities.

Capital projects are the large building projects or major renovations that MIT will undertake as part of its most significant campus renewal effort since the 1960s. The projects include the Ray and Maria Stata Center for Computer, Information and Intelligence Sciences; the new undergraduate residence; the sports and fitness center; the Media Lab expansion; major renovations to Building 18; graduate housing; and a new neuroscience facility made possible by a large gift from Patrick J. McGovern Jr. and Lore Harp McGovern. These projects represent more than $700 million worth of construction.

Ms. Poodry will take the lead early in a project's life for its definition, programming and design. Mr. Curley's work will overlap with Ms. Poodry's in the design development stage. Then he will take the lead in the construction document phase and building and commissioning each project.

"Deborah's and Paul's roles are the administrative infrastructure pillars for our building program and will enable us to align the many internal and external people who must work together to complete these complex and important projects," said John R. Curry, executive vice president.


Ms. Poodry has extensive experience in leading strategic program management and design teams for institutional and public facilities. Most recently, she has served as project manager for the new undergraduate residence at MIT. She has held positions as a principal in large architectural and engineering firms and was director of the Office of Programming in the Massachusetts Division of Capital Planning and Operations during a period of unprecedented capital construction. In that position, she managed a large staff of professionals in determining the scope, cost, siting and design program for more than 750 projects that represented $2 billion in construction.

Ms. Poodry earned two MIT degrees in 1979: the master in architecture advanced studies and the master in city planning. She did her undergraduate work in art and architecture at Rice University. She has given lectures, seminars and studio critiques at MIT, Tufts, Dartmouth College and the Boston Architectural Center.

Mr. Curley is a civil engineer with 35 years of experience in managing the design, construction and commissioning of office buildings and courthouses ranging in cost from $65 million to $225 million. Most recently, he managed design, construction and commissioning of the new federal courthouse on Fan Pier in Boston. In this role, he also developed, signed and administered all contracts for the project, including those for construction, architect engineer and construction manager. Harry Cobb, the courthouse's architect, attributed the success of that project largely to Mr. Curley's technical skills and his ability to manage relationships.

Another recent project Mr. Curley managed was the $80 million asbestos abatement and renovation of the JFK Federal Building in Boston. He also was end-to-end project manager for the O'Neill Federal Building. In addition to his work locally, Mr. Curley has served on management review teams in San Francisco, Houston and New York. He is a civil engineering graduate of the University of Massachusetts and a registered professional engineer in Massachusetts.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 29, 2000.

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