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Renovated dining halls will be ready to welcome students this fall

Completion of construction in Maseeh, Baker, Next, McCormick and Simmons set for August.
In February, Maseeh Hall Housemaster Jack Carroll gave students a behind-the-scenes look at The Howard Dining Hall.
In February, Maseeh Hall Housemaster Jack Carroll gave students a behind-the-scenes look at The Howard Dining Hall.
Photo: Thomas Gearty

Construction and renovation projects in Maseeh Hall and the four undergraduate dining halls are proceeding on pace and will be completed in time to welcome students when they return this fall at the start of the next academic year.

Work crews at Maseeh are completing an $80 million renovation to create MIT’s largest undergraduate residence. In addition, MIT is renovating and updating its dining halls to accommodate changes in service and offerings for the new House Dining program.

At Maseeh Hall, all major construction and building systems installation has been completed, according to Sonia Richards, program manager of development and construction for MIT Facilities. Workers are now in what Richards called the “finishing” phase: painting, flooring, woodworking, signage, whiteboards, tack boards and bathroom accessories. In addition, she says, crews have begun testing and operating the mechanical and electrical systems, and furniture will arrive in early July.

Students will have many reasons to be excited about Maseeh, according to Richards. “It’s a great location on MIT campus, and the design-build team has done a really great job of restoring some of the more exciting historical features of the building, while adding new and energy-efficient mechanical and electrical systems,” she says.

The Institute is also performing renovation and construction to prepare for the new House Dining program.

There are dining halls in five undergraduate dorms: Baker, Maseeh, McCormick, Next and Simmons. To accommodate the new plan — which will include greater numbers of participants; more meal periods, including breakfast; and all-you-care-to-eat service — the Department of Residential Life and Dining is redesigning and improving each facility.

Maseeh Hall includes The Howard Dining Hall, a 360-seat facility occupying the entire west side of the first floor that will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Work to complete construction in the dining and servery area includes finishing up woodwork, flooring, painting and equipment installation, according to Henry Humphreys, the senior associate dean for student life (read more about the state-of-the-art Maseeh dining facility).

Crews are also updating the kitchens and servery areas in Baker, McCormick, Next and Simmons, Humphreys says. Among the projects are updated lighting systems for Next and Simmons and additional furnishings for Next and Baker. All work is expected to be complete in the first week of August.

“This is an exciting time in MIT residential history,” Humphreys says. “As the semester begins, we will have five state-of-the-art dining facilities designed to serve a wide variety of healthy meals to all students, regardless of nutritional or dietary restrictions, in an all-you-care-to-eat environment.”

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