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Corporation Votes to Renovate Briggs

Approves $2.3 Million to Convert Cage to Basketball Arena

By Jeffrey R. Toobin

The Corporation yesterday voted to renovate Briggs Cage for use as a 3000-seat basketball facility and indoor practice field for baseball and lacrosse, Joe B. Wyatt, vice president for administration, said yesterday.

The Corporation authorized the expenditure of $2.3 million for the project, which Wyatt said should be completed by April 1981.

Harvard will select an architect "within a month" and then solicit bids from contractors, Wyatt said.

"This is the best thing that could happen to basketball at Harvard," Frank McLaughlin, coach of men's basketball, said yesterday. Both the men's and women's teams, which would use the new facility, now play in the 50-year-old Indoor Athletic Building.

The renovated complex would have a 1600-square-yard Astroturf carpet stored under the floor to be installed automatically "on a cushion of air," John P. Reardon Jr. '60, director of athletics, said yesterday.

Briggs currently has "extensive roof and heat-loss problems that already needed extensive repair and this is the lowest-possible-cost solution and just the right size for basketball," Wyatt said.

Technical problems and scheduling conflicts between the basketball and hockey teams prevented an earlier plan to place a basketball court over the ice of Bright Hockey Center, McLaughlin said.

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