President Bok last night told a North House audience that some additions to the College's smallest House would almost certainly take place, although the extent would be determined by the outcome of the ongoing Harvard Campaign.
"There is a very good chance that some substantial amount of improvements will be made. But whether it is some or all is a question in the laps of our donors," he said.
Speaking at the House's annual president's dinner before a crowd of about 150, Bok confirmed that plans were underway for a $5-6 million structural reconfiguration of North House, which could include a new dining hall to replace the current two and a new building.
Bok did not detail the extent of the planned change. But the president said that if the Harvard Campaign reaches its $350 million goal in the next 14 months, construction at North could begin.
Bok discussed the feasibility of proposed changes in North House during a question-and answer period following a 20-minute, post-dinner speech on the ill effects of pre-professionalism.
House masters first recommended the North House addition last summer as part of an effort to improve life for undergraduates living in the Radcliffe Quadrangle Many students and officials believe there disparaties between the quality of life at the River and Quad because of severe crowding in the Quad.
The major facet of the masters' proposed changes was a new building expected to accomodate 85 to 100 students, which would alleviate a housing crunch in some present rooms and allow North to bring its size up to the level of other Houses.
Bok estimated the construction would take place during the summer of 1985.
Separate from Renovations
The president stressed that any construction would be in addition to renovations in the House already planned for that summer.
Harvard is spending $50 million to refurbish the aging Houses over a four-year period by repairing roofs, walls, wiring, floors and other aspects of the upperclass buildings, many of which were built more than 50 years ago.
The president said that North House was assured of funds for these renovations, which have already been done in five River Houses, to the extent of five million dollars.
North House Committee Chairman Andrew F. Saxe said he had made several recommendations to Bok regarding improvements to the House.
Saxe added that the construction is still in the planning stage, but that engineers are currently examining the House.
The College is considering many ways to enlarge suite space and create a single dining hall for North Saxe said.
Co-Master Hanna Hastings said that the current two-dining hall arrangement is "very uneconomical." For example, the double salad bars causes the House to waste money unnecessarily, she explained.
Bok began his speech on pre-professionalism telling about a sign above one University washroom's hand dryer. He said the sign read. "Press button below for two-minute address from University president."
In his longer address, Bok discussed the changes be recognizes between recent generations of College students. He warned North residents against the pre-professional anxiety he said students of the '80s demonstrate.
He asked. "Why should they worry more than our generation did, especially when they are Harvard students?"