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Preparations begin for construction of the Stata Center

The food trucks formerly near East Garage have been relocated to a spot adjacent to Building 68.
The food trucks formerly near East Garage have been relocated to a spot adjacent to Building 68.
Photo / Donna Coveney

The recent move of the food trucks to a new park near Building 68 is another step in the preparations for the upcoming construction of the Stata Center. Construction of the park began in November and was completed just after classes ended in December.

The Department of Facilities, in cooperation with Food Services, Campus Police, the Parking Office and the Safety Office, selected the grassy area adjacent to the Koch Biology Building as the new site. It will serve as the interim location of the food trucks throughout the construction of the Stata Center.

"The new location utilizes the existing plant material as well as the benches from the areas east of Alumni Pool," said Stephen Mahoney of Beacon Skanska Construction Co. The new park includes several sets of benches surrounded by trees.

Other construction that will happen soon in the area will affect traffic coming in and out of East Garage. Two existing curb cuts on Main Street will be used as the new entrance and exit to the garage starting later this spring. "The access at the corner of Main and Vassar Streets will be cut off and rerouted," Mr. Mahoney said. "The Stata Center staff is working with the Parking Office to ensure that drivers are inconvenienced to as minor a degree as possible."

There are three ramps to work with in the East Garage, which makes the transformation easier, he said. "The main difference to drivers will be that there will be only one entrance and one exit instead of two exits as there are now." During construction, one of the current ramps will remain closed. When exiting the garage, drivers will turn left leading out and then will turn right onto Main Street.

To accommodate the new traffic pattern, Building 68 will lose five parking spaces. The guard shack will also be moved to a more appropriate location.

East Garage will eventually be demolished once the Stata Center's 680-car underground garage is completed. Parking will be allowed in the underground garage while construction is taking place on the Stata Center itself.

"Although March 3 is the date for the ground-breaking of the Stata Center, the actual work on the site will not begin until early April," said Nancy Joyce of Facilities, project manager for the Stata Center. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2003.

There will also be construction on the Alumni Pool building related to utilities work for the Stata Center. The pool construction will commence later this spring. The walkways closest to Buildings 16 and 56 should remain open for pedestrian traffic through the construction period.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 12, 2000.

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