Decision on Q-RAC Postponed While Builders Seek Agreement

Despite President Horner's projection that she would decide the fate of the water-dam-aged Quadrangle Recreational Athletic Center (Q RAC) by yesterday. Radcliffe officials have postponed reopening the gym because of new delays in determining who is responsible for the facility's structural flaws.

Officials said yesterday that Horner has not made a decision because the Q-RAC's architect and contractor and Harvard construction experts have not agreed on who will repair the squash courts in the gym that have suffered serious water damage.

A dispute over liability could keep the Q-RAC closed for years if Radcliffe has to go to court to lay blame. Horner and other officials have said.

Horner predicted Last week that she would open the undamaged parts of the Q-RAC after receiving an agreement to fix the three-year-old gym event which she expected on Tuesday.

Louis R Morrell Radcliffe's vice president for finances said yesterday he thought Horner had not heard from all of the parties, who met last Friday for the first time to receive an extensive report on the damages prepared by an outside consulting firm.


Horner and others have declined to release the 100 page damage report or to discuss it in detail although Horner said Friday that repairs to the squash courts will involve "a fair amount of work.

According sources familiar with the consultant's report the water problem results from low drainage capacity of the soul used on one side of the partly underground building.

Because water from rain and snow cannot from down through the soul. It accumulates on the surface and then flows into the Q-RAC over a special moisture barrier designed to prevent water from permeating the wall.

Horner and the Harvard building experts involved with the Q-RAC were unavailable for comment yesterday. Joseph Hoskins, the Boston architect who designed the $2.4 million gym, and officials of the Jackson Construction Co, have refused to discuss the project.

Cautious Review

"The next few days are very critical." Morrell said, adding that the question of liability is bound to make all sides very cautious as they review the damage report and its conclusions.

"It's like when people go to a restaurant to eat Everything's fine until the check comes." Morrell added. He declined to venture a guess as to when Horner would hear from the builders.

Radcliffe officials expect to receive this week a second portion of the Thompson and Lichtener Co, report detailing water problems in the Q-RAC's exercise room apparently unrelated to the squash court leads.

While awaiting a decision from Radcliffe, students and masters from the three Quad Houses have sought alternatives to the conveniences of the Q-RAC.

Several weeks ago, they established weight rooms in the basements of Currier and North Houses. In addition, Quad residents are currently meeting with College officials to consider a variety of uses for the meeting at would have been spent maintaining the Q-RAC over the past two months.