Ten years after the University first proposed connecting the kitchens of Kirkland and Eliot houses and nearly six months after construction began, Harvard has still not completed the joint kitchen, causing long lines and no-interhouse rules that have irked many residents.
The $3-million joint kitchen, which University Planning Officer Thomas Didier said last spring would be completed by September, should be finished in a little more than a week. It is expected to reduce lines and increase seating.
"Hopefully, the construction will be finished in ten days," said Richard J. Montville, assistant director for operations at the College dining halls. But house residents said they doubted that the kitchen would be completed any time soon.
"A construction worker told me last week, 'only a few more days,'" said one Eliot resident, who said she did not believe Montville's 10-day estimate.
Thus far, the kitchen has only increased the lines; last night the queue of students waiting for food extended to the doors of Eliot's dining hall.
Furthermore, Lewis K. Cherot '90 said he thought this year's lines were even slower than last year's, adding that the University "should have spent the money on two feeding lines to cut out the waiting and kept our kitchen." Like all houses, Eliot has only one service line.
Students said they were also upset about the no-interhouse rules, which prohibit residents of other houses from dining in either Kirkland or Eliot. The policy will last until construction is completed.
Eliot residents said they were puzzled because there had been no restrictions on inviting friends to meals during construction last spring.
But some said the lack of interhouse was not a disadvantage. One sophomore joked that exclusive dining rooms are a helpful way to shed unwanted suitors, while Joel W. Straka '90 said the lack of interhouse had not affected his social life. "We have no friends [in other houses]," he said.
But his dining companion, Eric Vogel '90, said, "The lack of interhouse dining has left us so discouraged that we may never eat here again."