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MIT closes 74-year old residence hall for structural repairs

Posted by Your Town  May 8, 2013 01:40 PM

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MIT announced Tuesday night that it will close one of its residence halls in the upcoming weeks, leaving students scrambling to find housing for the upcoming semester.

According to a statement from the university, Bexley Hall will close for up to three years, due to structural problems.

At a meeting Tuesday night, residents were told that the building would close in a few weeks, the statement said. Residents must leave by May 25, with the exception of graduating seniors, who are permitted to stay until June 8, the day after commencement.

Finals period ends on May 24, according to the MIT academic calendar.

According to the MIT Housing website, more than 100 students live in Bexley Hall, which opened in 1939.

The statement said that inspectors found significant water damage “inside the building’s exterior walls.”

“Buildings are susceptible to this kind of damage,” said Michael Kearns of MIT’s Department of Facilities said in the statement. “But these new studies indicate that the deterioration inside Bexley’s exterior walls is more advanced than we anticipated.”

Nate Nickerson, a MIT spokesman, said that there are enough extra rooms on campus to accomodate these students.

"Dorm space is available for anyone who applies for it," he said.

Students who planned to live in Bexley are eligible to enter a housing lottery today, the statement said. The students may also look into joining an on-campus “independent living group.” If students choose to live off-campus, MIT Housing will provide moving supplies and transportation.

The school will also give free storage to students who were living in Bexley.

“No doubt this is difficult news for your community,” Dean for Student Life Costantino Colombo Colombo wrote in an e-mail to Bexley residents after meeting with them Tuesday, “and I’m sympathetic to your feelings. Bexley’s independent spirit reflects an important aspect of MIT’s character. Right now my top priority is to help you finish this term successfully, and help each returning Bexley resident secure the best possible living option for next year.”

Katherine Landergan can be reached at klandergan@globe.com. For campus news updates, follow her on Twitter @klandergan.

Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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