Having been assured of 400 housing units at Fort Devens, the University Housing Office, in order to have at least some units prepared for next term's married students, is rapidly going ahead in the conversion of the development formerly known as Lovell General Hospital, North.
Army officials have granted the Federal Public Housing Authority permission to utilize the property; and, although the University originally applied for 800 units, the FPHA, due to low appropriation funds, has been forced to limit the consignment to 400.
Self-Sufficient Community Planned
Fletcher W. Taft '07 has been appointed resident manager of the development and will open his offices there as soon as the first units are ready for occupancy.
A self-sufficient community is the aim of the project. Along with the manager's offices, grocery and drug stores will occupy the central portion of the area. Several merchants have shown willingness to undertake the shopping concessions.
The University has obtained the use of a former Red Cross building, which includes a theatre, for entertainment facilities, and a clinic and infirmary. Two doctors have been procured for the latter, which will be run along the same policies as those of Stillman Infirmary. Also in the process of acquisition are a swimming pool, tennis courts, and a bowling hall.
Transportation Is Major Problem
"Changes made will be no more than those absolutely necessary for two reasons," Edward Francis, real estate consultant of the Straus Hall office, said yesterday. "First, by this method, we can make the units available at the earliest possible date. In the second place, our contract with the government calls for the return of the area in its present state."
Francis said that he would not try to depreciate the difficulties of commuting from Fort Devens which is a good hour's trip from the Square, but that there was "not more or better housing any other place within reach."