The new Political Science and Economics building will open in May – four months later than planned



Credit: Pauline Colas

The Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics, a new building that will house the department of political science and the department of economics, will be officially completed next May, several months after the initial completion estimate of January 2018.

The building, located at the corner of 36th and Walnut streets, will contain a 120-seat auditorium, classrooms, faculty offices, undergraduate study spaces and lecture halls. It formerly housed the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, counseling and psychological services, and a number of administrative offices.

The current renovation began in February 2016 and the project cost a total of $77.6 million.

According to Michael Dausch, executive director of design and construction for facilities and real estate services, the building will be ready for occupancy in mid-April and will be fully completed in May. The two university departments will move into the Perelman Center at the end of the current academic year.

Faculty members and students said they hoped the Perelman Center would centralize and unify the two departments.

Credit: Pauline Colas

Political science professor Marc Meredith said his department is currently split between two buildings – Stiteler Hall and an office building on 34th and Market streets.

“I think it will make it easier to govern our department because we’ll all be under one roof,” Meredith said.

He added that he hopes the building will bring together the economics department and the political science department.

“I’m personally very excited because I work in both fields,” Meredith said. “I think being in the same building is really helpful for connecting with people you wouldn’t necessarily come into contact with otherwise on campus.”

Economics Department Chair George Mailath also pointed out that the new building contains ideal facilities for collaboration.

“One of the things we’re particularly looking forward to is having more discussion spaces where professors and graduate students can work together in small groups,” Mailath said, adding that “it’s always nice to have new spaces”.

Aaron Askowitz, a sophomore in college majoring in philosophy, politics and economics, said most of the buildings in the College of Arts and Sciences’ departments are “a bit dated” compared to newer buildings such as as Huntsman Hall and Steinberg-Dietrich Hall.

“I think this new political science building will improve the College experience for a lot of people,” Askowitz said, citing the building’s location and new amenities. “I can’t wait to take classes there.”

Zachary Zamore, a freshman at the university who plans to major in economics, said he hopes the new building will centralize the two departments.

“I think this new building gives these two really important fields of study that a lot of people are interested in a unified home that will make the departments so much better,” Zamore said.

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