A Tale of Two Worlds The Harvard Crimson - Harvard employees living in Allston experience two sides of a heated debate
“It’s easy for an individual to point fingers at a large institution without understanding the University’s perspective, but it may also be helpful for University planners to walk a mile in local shoes,” says one Allston employee who wished to remain anonymous to protect his relationship with his employer and neighbors.
But despite their more balanced perspectives, several Allston residents employed by Harvard say they were not immune to the disappointment following the University’s decision to halt construction on the Science Complex.
“They promised us the world, a utopia,” Robert Alexander says.
Reimagining Allston The Harvard Crimson - Co-developing the Allston campus may be a solution to financial constraints
At this point, all options are open, and Harvard has not decided what type of relationship it seeks or whether co-development should even happen, University Executive Vice President Katherine N. Lapp says.
“We’re not sure what will come our way as we start to talk to outside potential partners, so we don’t want to say we’re going to do one thing and foreclose a possibility somewhere else,” Lapp says.
Allston Neighborhood Coordinator Daniel Roan writes in an e-mail that the City of Boston would be “open” to the idea so long as it promotes “the development of well planned and financially sound development in Allston that expands economic opportunity, improves the quality of life for the neighborhood and increases housing choice.”
A Temporary Relief The Harvard Crimson - Allston construction pause forces Harvard School of Public Health to find short-term solutions
With the promise of an additional 450,000 square feet of space, Allston would have lifted much of the pressure imposed by overcrowding at the school, which hampered its ability to expand its teaching and research facilities.
“We are at capacity—I mean, you should see schedules,” says Nancy M. Kane, the school’s associate dean of educational programs. “It takes a computer doing advanced linear programming just to figure out when to schedule a class, and you’re always going to conflict with someone.” “It’s a nightmare,” Kane adds.
“We’re in a state of overcrowding that’s really not sustainable in the
long term,” Dean Julio Frenk says. Though plans are not finalized at this point, Frenk says school officials have identified potential space to be leased in Longwood.