The fate of the Corporal Burns Playground, which adjoins the new Married Students Housing Center, will be discussed at a meeting this afternoon between Charles P. Whitlock, assistant to the president for civic affairs, and members of the Cambridge City Council.
Whitlock said yesterday that the University plans to offer to refurbish the playground, which will be used by over 300 Harvard children next year, at a cost of $200,000. However, he continued, he is prepared to discuss purchase of the land if the city offers to sell. The playground is the only piece of land along Memorial Drive between Boylston St. and Western Ave. not yet owned by the University.
Reports in yesterday's Globe and Record American, which said Harvard had offered to pay $2.6 million for the playground, were termed "completely wrong" by Whitlock. He said the University "has always been ready to bid for the land" but that as yet it has made no offers.
Whitlock added that although the $2.6 million figure was "ridiculous" for the 62,000 sq. ft. plot, Harvard would be willing to pay a "premium price." He noted that Cambridge City Manager John J. Curry '19 had once mentioned $1 million as such a price.
"I think it is unlikely that the city will sell, however," Whitlock continued. If it does, the money will probably be used to build a new Houghton Grammer School with a gym and enlarged playground for the area. Since the state would pay 40% of the prospective $2.4 million cost, Cambridge would have to pay very little, Whitlock explained.
The meeting was originally schedule to be with a three-man Council committee, but, according to the Record American, the full Council will hold a public meeting instead.
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