Yard Dorm to Gain Elevator

In an effort to upgrade freshman dorms and make the Yard more accessible to disabled students, the University plans to install an elevator in a Yard dorm within the next two years, officials said yesterday.

Harvard planners are currently deciding between Matthews Hall and Weld Hall for the location of the elevator, said Phillip J. Parsons, associate dean for physical resources.

"It is limiting [for disabled students] if they can only go to their own rooms," Parsons said.

To make the Yard more accessible for disabled freshmen, an elevator seems to be the "best solution at the moment," Parsons said.

The installation of an elevator is one of a series of improvements recommended by a six-month study completed last December. Most of the renovation of the Yard, which Parsons estimated will cost "many millions" of dollars, will not begin until the summer of 1989, Parsons said.

"Because we would like to keep the majority of Yard dorms open for summer school, it will take many summers," he said.

Didier O. Thomas, planning group associate director, said the University decided to make the Yard more accessible to comply with state regulatory requirements and to ensure that disabled students live in the "middle of the real experience."

"They should be able to socialize with all students in the building in all the suites," Thomas said.

Currently, Canaday is the only freshman dorm accessible for disabled students,although there are only three rooms accessible towheelchairs, said Guy B. Wallace, a formerpresident of Advocating a Better LearningEnviornment (ABLE).

It would be expensive and impractical to putelevators in Canaday because of the numerousentryways, said Thomas