NW35, EC, and Next House are open for summer

East Campus, Next House, and the Phoenix Group section of Ashdown will be the only three dorms open to undergraduate students over the sumer, Dean for Student Life Chris Colombo announced in an e-mail yesterday.

The announcement comes after weeks of concern among students about which dorms would be open over the summer. Chancellor Phillip L. Clay PhD ’75 first announced in late February that dorms would be closing over the summer.

A four-page PDF file circulated along with the announcement detailed the new summer housing arrangement:

Of those dorms not open to undergraduates, Bexley, Burton-Conner, MacGregor, and Random will be closed for renovations.

Baker House, Senior House, McCormick Hall, Simmons Hall, and New House will house outside programs and conferences.

The changes are expected to save MIT about $500,000, Colombo’s announcement said.

Between the three dorms open to undergraduates, about 750 beds will be available. In past years, about 600 to 800 undergraduates have chosen to live in dorms over the summer.

Groups of students will be able to request to be placed in rooms near each other in summer housing.

MIT Housing will provide free transportation for students to move their belongings between dorms in May and August.

All students who are not staying in their rooms over the summer must clear their rooms of all their belongings and put them into storage, said Tom Gearty, the communications director for the Office of the Dean for Student Life.

According to the announcement, Housing is also “negotiating favorable rates and services for off-campus storage” for MIT students, in order to supplement the storage available in dorms.

Renovations that will occur during the summer include painting, asbestos abatement, and bathroom renovations. According to the document, “housing will work with students to develop a protocol for painting around murals” and “is also committed to maintaining the cook-for-yourself communities,” the document states.

MIT expects to save money by reducing labor costs of dorm staff and construction workers and by reducing utility costs. MIT will not lay off any workers as a result of the changes: It will save money by reducing overtime hours and cutting “outsourcing costs that were regularly incurred in past summers” according to the document.

In the past, a mix of undergraduates and outside residents have resided in all of the dorms over the summer, while large sections of most dorms remained vacant. The idea to save money by improving the efficiency of summer housing arrangements originated in the Institute-wide Planning Task Force Report.

Plans to implement this idea were given a go-ahead by Chancellor Phillip L. Clay PhD ’75 in February. The Housing Strategy Group, which is chaired by Colombo and Dean for Graduate Education Steven R. Lerman ’72 and includes three student representatives, was then charged with the job of working with MIT housing over the past month to choose the dorms that would remain open, be closed, or undergo renovations.

In future years, MIT Housing plans to work with the Housing Strategy Group to repeat this process.