Both candidates in the state gubernatorial race have committed themselves toward encouraging the sale of the MTA's Bennett St. yards to the University.
In almost identical statements, John A. Volpe and Joseph D. Ward suggest that if substitute facilities can be found the sale is a definite possibility.
Ward said yesterday that he considered the expansion of "great private institutions" to be "in the commonwealth's interest."
Volpe stated this week that he would "encourage the sale of any unused MTA land" to the University in order to provide adequate facilities "for students from Massachusetts and from other states and countries."
Both candidates stipulated that the University should pay a fair price for any such purchase. Ward said however, that he did not believe the price alone should be decisive in the land's disposition.
"Since Harvard has been here since 1636, I would certainly feel that it has some prior right to consideration in its important expansion," Ward declared.
Possible Tenth House Site
The University has been negotiating for two years to purchase the site, on which it hopes to erect the tenth House called for in the Program for Harvard College. Previous negotiations with Governor Furcolo failed, partly because the MTA could not find a substitute for the Bennett St. yards. The yards have the only facilities for extensive maintenance on the entire system.
There has been some speculation, however, that the MTA may have taken up an option to buy the Old Colony Line, which has similar facilities at Codman Square. The New Haven Railroad, owner of the line, has been operating the Codman installation at a loss.
The new generalm anager of the MTA, Thomas J. McLernon, has stated that he would not object to selling the yards, with the usual reservation that the company would have to find a substitute site for its repair facilities.