Burton Conner scheduled to be closed for ‘renewal’ from June 2020 to August 2022

Students must move out during construction, dorm will reopen under Tier 1 pricing

Burton Conner will be the next MIT residence hall to undergo “renewal,” according to an email from administrators and house leaders sent to BC residents Wednesday night.

To accommodate the process, BC is scheduled to “go offline” after Commencement 2020, the email said. The targeted completion and reopening date is August 2022.

For BC and all future residence halls that undergo renewal, all students must move out during construction, and the halls will reopen under Tier 1 pricing, according to an FAQ document linked in the email. (BC is currently Tier 2, which is $335 cheaper per semester for a double.)

The renewal will primarily involve an “extensive infrastructure and building systems update,” including “modest updates to finishes and spaces,” the FAQ said. Building codes may dictate that some spaces need to be reconfigured for accessibility, which may in turn necessitate “some space redesign,” but it is too early to know.

There is currently a plan to allow BC residents to move out in groups of up to eight, so that they can stay in the same residence hall, but not necessarily the same floor, the FAQ continued. BC residents will also have priority in the housing lottery, and “eligible students” living in BC in spring 2020 who move off campus are guaranteed housing in BC when it reopens.

New House was fully reopened last fall after undergoing a staggered schedule of renovations. It is the first non-dining dorm to be part of the Tier 1 category. Before renovation, the dorm had suffered several pipe bursts, which caused flooding and resulted in some residents staying in the Hyatt Regency hotel for a semester, costing the Institute $6 million for repairs and living expenses.

“MIT has developed a capital planning framework ‘MIT 2030’ to guide the renovation and renewal of academic, residential, and student life spaces across the campus,” the email to BC residents said.

Campus planners have been reviewing “how best to sequence the renewal of Burton Conner and East Campus,” the email continued, although the FAQ noted that decisions about which dorm to renew next have not been made yet.  

The email was sent by Vice President and Dean for Student Life Suzy Nelson, Senior Associate Dean of Housing and Residential Services David Friedrich, and BC Heads of House Janelle Knox-Hayes and Jarrod Hayes.

A new dorm is set to open on Vassar Street in fall 2020, but it is not intended to serve as a “swing dorm” for displaced students in dorms undergoing renewal, the FAQ emphasized, as that would interfere with the development of the new dorm’s identity and culture.