University administrators and members of the Harvard Allston Task Force met for the first time with leaders of the Allston Work Team—the faculty-led committee charged with establishing recommendations for Harvard’s campus development—yesterday morning to discuss Harvard’s role in the Allston-Brighton community.
The meeting comes two months after University President Drew G. Faust announced the creation of the Work Team in Dec. 2009, when the University announced it would indefinitely halt construction on the Allston Science Complex in the spring due to financial constraints.
Executive Vice President Katherine N. Lapp, who oversees the University’s capital planning functions, described yesterday’s meeting as “very productive” in an e-mailed statement.
“We discussed the Work Team’s initial phase, the community’s thoughts, and are considering the best ways to continue our engagement with the community,” Lapp wrote.
Others present at the meeting included Harvard Business School’s Senior Associate Dean for Planning and University Affairs Peter Tufano ’79, Director of the Institute of Politics Bill Purcell, and Graduate School of Design Professor Alex Krieger, all of whom co-chair the Work Team.
The University’s decision to halt construction on the $1 billion project—the first component of Harvard’s amibitious 50-year plan to construct a campus across the Charles River—left many Allston residents angry at the time, but, in their words, not surprised.
Allston resident Harry Mattison, who is a member of the Harvard Allston Task Force, said he did not know what to make of the Work Team’s progress in the past couple of months.
“I don’t know the details of what they’re doing,” Mattison said. “I think everyone who is involved is sincere and committed to their work; I just don’t have a sense of what their work is and how it relates to the Allston community.”
Mattison added that he hopes the Work Team will balance the needs of both Allston residents and the University as the process unfolds.
“Hopefully it will become more of a collaboration and less of a mystery as time moves on,” Mattison added.
—Staff writer Sofia E. Groopman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.