As Harvard University unveils more plans to expand into Allston, residents and university officials plan to meet on future plans to create a cooperative relationship between both communities.
Harvard’s 10-year plan includes construction of new academic buildings, a hotel and conference center, as well as a new basketball venue.
All of this new infrastructure will be built in the Allston community, part of an ambitious master plan by Harvard affecting a community dealing with an altered landscape.
Harvard has about 151 acres of land zoned for building space, with the more than 110 of these acres allocated to the Harvard Business School and Harvard Athletics.
The 10-year plan would add 1 million square feet of additional building space and see renovations to 500,000 square feet of existing Harvard space.
The project is detailed in the Institutional Master Plan Notification Form and development is mainly located in Barry’s Corner.
Susan Elsbree, spokeswoman for the Boston Redevelopment Authority, said interactions between the Allston and Harvard community, once Harvard infrastructure is in place, will be a cooperative relationship.
“There will be a lot of faculty there and a lot of students, so the interaction will be much better,” she said. “It is a great way for Allston and Harvard to utilize some untouched land.”
But a number of residents have expressed frustration or problems with Harvard’s presence in Allston in monthly meetings of the Harvard-Allston task force.
Gerald Autler, project manager of the Harvard Allston Campus Planning and Institutional Master Plan, said the residents of Allston are being consulted in the matter regarding the expansion on a meeting that will likely take place on Nov. 7.
“It’s a chance for the public to hear the filings and to consider them for the scoping determination,” Autler said. “Harvard has filed a form and there’s still not a whole lot of information about the project. We get comments from the public scoping determination.”
The plan that has been submitted so far includes nine projects that will take 10 years to build.
“This is the process for building institutions,” Elsbree said. “We require all institutions to come up with plenty of plans to show what it is they want to do with the area, so this is required of all institutions.”
She added that all institutions are required to draw up these plans so that they can go under review by the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Boston Zoning Commission.
The Institutional Master Plan is a fluid document and will continue to be developed as more information and feedback accrues, Autler said.
“There is traffic and parking studies that will come out of this,” he said. “We want to see implementations of the planning goals and there will be recreation of a neighborhood center.”
Michelle O’Berg Figueroa ,31, a freelance journalist and resident of Brighton, said she is excited for the new developments by Harvard in her community.
“The Harvard-Allston expansion is a fantastic way to bring what’s taught inside Harvard’s classroom to the outside community,” she said. “The English-Language program they offer will be an invaluable asset to people who want to improve their English, but might not have the resources.”
Figueroa also said the potential for other schools to offer similar resources to communities would benefit the state.
“We are looking forward to such a wonderful resource and hope this will be modeled after in other Massachusetts’ communities as well,” she said.