Franklin L. Ford, McLean Professor of Ancient and Modern History and former Chairman of the University's Standing Committee on Sports, said last night that the new sports complex is designed primarily to accommodate the rising demand for intramural sports facilities.
Ford spoke at the fall meeting of the Associated Harvard Alumni's Board of Directors on "Athletics and the Liberal Arts Education."
Ford said that the new sports complex is not intended to be "a palace for the elite minority of athletes."
The new complex will enable Harvard to "keep up with the already existing demand" for intramural facilities by freeing facilities on the East side of the Charles River for that purpose, Ford said.
Increase in Intramurals
In the last five years participation in the intramural and other informal sports programs has jumped from 3000 students to 7000, Ford said.
Ford said the increased demand for intramural facilities, is because of a "new awareness" by women of the possibility of participating in sports, the increased usage by graduate students of the athletic facilities--because "more and more students expect Harvard to get them started" in athletics and because the growing number of varsity rejectees have to be accomidated on the intramural level.
This increase in the "use demand" for Harvard's athletic facilities has not led to an expansion in inter-collegiate sports, Ford said.
Ford compared the new athletics project, to the Science Center and the Pusey Library projects and said the operating costs of the Athletics project will be greater than that of the Science Center which he estimated to be around $1.5 million.