Today in Maseeh Hall: A little history

Over the course of this semester and through the summer, we will post regular updates--generally every one to two weeks--about the progress towards opening Maseeh Hall. Updates will include notes about the physical construction of the building. More important, they will keep the campus informed about the social, cultural, and other aspects of organizing Maseeh Hall and its residents ready as a community.

History of the Phoenix Group
It seems appropriate to kick off this series on Maseeh Hall with a brief history of the Phoenix Group.

The Phoenix Group was established in February, 2008, when ten MIT undergraduates joined us (we're Suzanne Flynn and Jack Carroll, the Housemasters for Masseeh Hall) to form the incubator community for the new undergraduate dorm to be opened in W1.  At the time, W1 was called Ashdown House, a graduate residence.  The Founders chose to call themselves the Phoenix Group to represent the rebirth of W1 from the ‘ashes’ of Ashdown. A fully renovated W1 will open in August 2011 as Maseeh Hall, MIT’s largest undergraduate dorm, named in honor of donor Fariborz Maseeh ScD '90.

Throughout the Spring of 2008, the Founders met with the housemasters and Assoc. Dean of Student Life Donna Denoncourt in W1 to develop plans for their community.  At the end of the Spring term, Dean of Student Life Larry Benedict sent a group of the Founders, as well as members of the development team, to Cambridge University to explore and learn from the Cambridge model of residential colleges.  In the Fall of 2008, the Phoenix Group grew to 50 residents when it moved into its temporary home in a section of NW35 – the new location of Ashdown House on Albany Street.

When development of the new W1 was postponed during the economic downturn in 2008, the Phoenix Group committed to staying together as a group until development resumed and reconstruction was completed.  The Phoenix Group will finish its mission as an incubator community when Maseeh Hall opens in August 2011 with 462 residents.  We will move into Maseeh Hall having lived together as a community for three years developing a culture in which all-you-can-eat dining is central to the community experience.  We will also bring with us a set of guiding values for the community, a house government, and a comprehensive committee structure for managing activities in its new home.

Construction Update

Here is the work schedule at Maseeh Hall for the week of Jan. 17:
 
West Elevation / McCormick Hall:
Underground plumbing work and exterior wall work, including metal stud framing and masonry, will continue this week. Depending on the weather, teams will also continue installation of blocking and roofing materials.

North, South and East Elevations / Amherst Street, Memorial Drive and Mass Ave:
High roofing work continues this week and includes installation of siding for the Stair elevator penthouse, installation siding for the Stair penthouse and duct installation.  All pending weather conditions. Canopy steel for both courtyards is scheduled to be delivered this week and will be installed pending weather conditions.

Interior Work:
Mechanical and stair shafts in progress.  Ground floor mechanical and electrical rough-in in progress in all areas, including the electrical and mechanical rooms.  Installation of Stairs B & C.

Work on the Floors is as follows:
Floor 6:  Mechanical rough-ins, drywall installation, ceiling framing.
Floor 5:  Taping of drywall, painting, waterproofing installation at bathrooms, quartz tile flooring installation, fin tube installation, millwork and tile installation.
Floor 4:  Taping of drywall, waterproofing installation at bathrooms, millwork installation
Floor 3:  Taping of drywall
Floor 2:  Framing of ceilings, drywall installation, taping of drywall, lighting rough-in
Floor 1:  Wall framing, MEP rough-in, drywall installation
Ground:  Wall framing, MEP rough-in