Harvard's several large-scale construction projects across the Charles River are progressing as planned, University Construction Mitigation Director Edward G. LeFlore told Allston residents on Monday.
The University is currently in the process of securing permits for its plans to construct a complex for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in the neighborhood, LeFlore said at Monday’s Allston Construction Mitigation Subcommittee meeting. The six-story complex, as detailed late last month, will house classrooms, labs, lounge spaces, an exhibition space, a cafeteria, and 250 parking spots.
Harvard is also in the “last stretch” of construction in Rena Park, LeFlore said.
And while LeFlore came prepared with updates on those multi-million-dollar projects, residents directed the latter part of the meeting to criticize the leadership of the Harvard-Allston Task Force.
“We have to get the task force straightened out,” neighborhood resident Paul “Chip” Alford said, arguing that a lack of transparency surrounding appointments to the advisory board hinders its ability to represent the neighborhood.
Attendees also expressed concerns about the area's rodent population and how the University's construction might be related to its perceived growth. In the past, Allston residents have voiced their concerns about Harvard’s construction developments creating favorable living conditions for rats.
“Today when I saw [a rat] jumping through my yard, I thought it was a bunny from the way he was hopping, but then when he went under my fence, I said ‘Hey, that’s not a rabbit!’” Allston resident Joyce Radnor said. “Harvard always gets blamed, though, but it might not always be their fault; when [Harvard’s] big foundations and ditches are being worked on and then we see rats, we assume a correlation.”
John Meaney, assistant commissioner of the Boston Inspectional Services Department, said, “We like to think that all our [sewer] systems are tight, but they’re not.” Despite this, “overall in this area we’re doing pretty well.”
LeFlore said Harvard has continuously worked to contain the rat population in areas near its construction sites.
—Staff writer Ignacio Sabate can be reached at email@example.com . Follow him on Twitter @TheIggySabate.
Allston Committee Discusses Harvard Construction DemolitionsHarvard University Construction Mitigation Director Edward G. LeFlore estimated compliance with the University’s new construction worker parking program at around 97 to 99 percent out of 220 workers.
Harvard-Allston Task Force Discusses Housing, Construction
Allston Construction Committee Talks Science Building, ParkingThe Allston Construction Mitigation Subcommittee met Monday to discuss a timeline for further construction on Harvard’s Allston Science Complex and potential plans for implementing a community-wide resident parking program.
Harvard to Fund Footpaths Over Allston's Soldiers Field Road
Allston Residents Concerned About Boston Calling Location