Wow. My first reaction was that this must be an April Fool's joke, but I checked the calendar and it is February 6.
From the Crimson Story: "The Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences will relocate “in almost its entirety” to University-owned land in North Allston in as few as five years, University President Drew G. Faust told The Crimson Tuesday. Construction on SEAS facilities in Allston is slated to begin in 2014 and should be completed near the end of 2017 or early 2018."
The reason I find this so surprising is that it shows how Harvard has two different planning processes - a public one and a private one - and that at any time the public plan can get thrown out when Harvard decides to unveil another piece of the secret plan.
For example, last year when Harvard was first proposing what has become the planned 325 unit apartment building at the intersection of Western Ave and North Harvard Street, there were many questions about why the project was being limited to a 2 acre site when Harvard has so much adjacent under-utilized land. Harvard's response was that they couldn't expand the site to the north (towards the athletic fields) because that would require relocating the Ed Portal. That excuse only made sense a few months later when we learned that Harvard's real intention for the Ed Portal site is to build a new basketball arena there.
Just a few months ago, Harvard submitted a new 10-year plan to the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Many neighbors and groups spent considerable time reviewing it and submitting comments. The BRA has been hard at work writing a Scoping Determination with questions and comments for Harvard to answer.
BUT GUESS WHAT? HARVARD'S 10 YEAR PLAN DOESN'T MENTION MOVING THE ENGINEERING SCHOOL TO ALLSTON!
The full list of new construction projects is:
1. Harvard Business School, Kresge Hall Replacement (within the first five years of this IMP)
2. Harvard Business School, Burden Hall Replacement (within the second five years of the planning horizon of this IMP)
3. Harvard Business School, Faculty and Administrative Office Building (within the second five years of the planning horizon of this IMP)
4. Harvard Stadium Addition/Renovation (within the first five years of this IMP)
5. Athletics Department, Basketball Venue and Institutional/Mixed-Use Facility (within the second five years of the planning horizon of this IMP)
6. Mixed Use/Institutional Project (during the second five years of the IMP)
7. Hotel and Conference Center (during the second five years of the IMP)
Harvard also insulted our community in this 10 year plan by proposing to use several acres of the current Charlesview site for a "Harvard permit parking lot". Neighbors have asked if Harvard really would put a huge parking lot on that gateway location. My expectation now is that Harvard never intended to do that, and now will announce that to be the site of the new Engineering School.
Of course I'd rather see an new Engineering School on that site instead of a parking lot. The issue is that for North Allston to thrive there must be some upfront planning and investment, especially in transportation. If we never know what Harvard is really planning to do, then we are just wasting our time talking about whatever story Harvard is telling us today.
By the way, the meeting is at 6pm in Cumnock 102 on the Harvard Business School campus. Cumnock Hall is right behind the Spangler Center. I know that is not the most convenient location for Allston residents, but it would be great to have you join us.
On Wednesday, February 6, 2013 3:59:13 AM UTC-5, aryt....@gmail.com wrote:
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