This sudden and unexpected announcment has taken the entire community by surprise. `I can’t believe it’ said one of the local workmen we spoke to. “One minute you’re just getting along and the next minute this comes up.”
Before even considering the consequences of such a drastic measure, we first sought to find out `Why ?’. But, as over a week of investigative reporting showed us, trying to track down the precise reasons for this new direction was proving more
difficult than we could have imagined.
We started with the senior site supervisor who was ultimately responsible for executing the decisions. We thought we would trace the decision chain and hence find out more. The site supervisor said that he simply got a memo from his superior at Harvard Projects informing him about the change. The memo was delivered by the Architectural Designer’s office which is not actually part of Harvard or the Business School.
We tried to interview the lead architect but he declined. Instead he issued a written statement which effectively said that `after due care and consideration of all the parties involved, the Projects Management Committee of the Harvard Projects directorate had arrived this unanimous decision. We appreciate that although this decision may cause problems for some in the short term, we strongly believe that the long-term gains outweigh any immediate effects’. This statement was also followed up by a phone call from the Architectural Designer’s office emphasizing the fact that as a contractor they were not in position to comment about the Projects Management
Committee’s decision or the decision making process. They had no idea who had been consulted and why no one was told about it before.
Local resident were understandably puzzled. “I simply don’t understand it” said one who did not wish to be identified. “Everyone knows that something is needed, but why this all of a sudden ?”. Another suggested that money was the real motivation. “We all know about the downturn in the economy, but no one knows how long will it last. What if it lasts 10 years, we need to be prepared”, she said.
With these thoughts in hand, we turned up announced at the plush offices of the Projects Management Committee. The aim was not to antagonize or question judgment but simply to get more information behind the decision and the subsequent turn of events which has certainly surprised most of community in and out of the School. Had this been really motivated by money, or even by politics ? Was the sudden and unexpected appointment of a new Director of Planning & Project Services related to these events ?