Computer Unit Is Dropped From New Science Center
Plans for a computing center to form part of the new Harvard science complex have been scrapped for lack of funds, Richard G. Leahy, assistant dean for Resources and Planning, said yesterday.
The center, which would have cost an estimated 4.5 million dollars, was to have included almost all of the University's computing facilities. Computing services are presently housed in five buildings in Cambridge and Boston.
The University had hoped to fund the center through either a Federal grant or a loan from a proposed state bonding authority, but neither materialized, Leahy said. He estimated that 70 per cent of computer time here is used for government-sponsored research.
The computer center would have been part of the main building of the $17 million Student Science Center, although it would have been separate administratively.
Huson Jackson of Sert, Jackson and Associates, said that his architectural firm is redrawing plans for the building. The new plans will exclude over 70,000 sq. ft. of floor space allocated for computing facilities.
Jackson said the new Student Science Center will "make more generous use of the site"--the land between Littauer Center and Oxford Street, including the plot where Lawrence Hall now stands. No land will be available on the site to include a computer center at a later date, he said.
David D. Dix, associate director of the Harvard Computing Center, called the present facilities "nearly inadequate." The machine room has had to house five major computers and cannot be properly air-conditioned, he said.
Because some undergraduate courses now require regular use of machine time, there is not enough space for computer users, Dix said. He added that the dispersal of offices makes it difficult for systems programmers, who write programs for fundamental computer operations, to communicate with those who work on specific problems.
The elimination of the computing center may push back the target date for the science center by a month, Jackson said, but other complications may delay the building even further. The building is scheduled to be ready for the Fall term of 1971.