The Senate today began debate on a bill to extend more than a billion dollars in federal loans and grants to colleges for the construction of new buildings.
The House passed a similar bill earlier this year; the House measure, however, would give the construction funds to colleges which are planning to expand their enrollment. The Senate bill has no such restriction.
University sources have hinted that if the Senate's version is adopted. Harvard might apply for funds to build an Undergraduate Science Center on Oxford Street. The College is, of course, not planning to expand its enrollment, and it would not be eligible for funds under the House bill.
L. Gard Wiggins, Administrative Vice-goes to a compromise committee, it will certainly be held up until after the Senate President, said Thursday that the Science Center was one of a number of building projects that would be considered if the funds were made available by the federal government. He said that no project had a higher priority on the University's building schedule than the Center, but added that other had equal priority.
"A number of factors would be involved: the amount of money available, the restrictions placed on its use, and our own building schedule," Wiggins explained.
The Senate is scheduled to debate the bill today and Monday, and to vote on Tuesday. It is considered almost certain to pass. If it does, the House will have to choose between approving the Senate's changes in the bill and sending the measure to a conference committee.
There had been some question whether the college construction bill would be brought up before the Senate began considering civil rights. If the legislation debate on civil rights, and might not be voted on during this session.