The new home of Penn’s political science and economics departments is on track to be completed by January 2018 and is currently almost halfway to being fully designed.
At Penn’s Board of Trustees meeting in late October, Facilities and Real Estate Services revealed new design plans for the exterior of the Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics, which will be located on 336 S. 36th Street, right above the Anne Taylor Loft store.
The new design plans for the $75 million center include an auditorium, seminar and class rooms, lounge space and offices for the two departments and five programs that will call the new center home. Currently, the economics and political science departments are spread across campus, but the new center aims to bring them physically closer together to foster interdisciplinary work.
“The main intellectual purpose is to combine two interrelated, but currently dispersed disciplines under one roof, ” University Architect David Hollenberg said.
Political theory professor Nancy Hirschman is also excited to have all members of the her own department under one roof. “It will be terrific to have everyone together in one space,” she said.
“The fact that the centers are all going to be right there is great,” Hirshman added, “since it will produce collaboration between the departments.”
While the creation of the 111,000 square foot center would move most political science and economics courses to this new building, some courses will still be taught in Stiteler Hall and the McNeil building.
However, “the intent is to have as many classrooms available to the departments as possible,” Hollenberg said.
Plans for the Perelman Center were announced last February, when Ronald Perelman made a $25 million donation to fund the creation of the new center. However, the creation of the new center displaced several on-campus organizations, including Counseling and Psychological Services and the Netter Center for Community Partnerships.
The Netter Center has already relocated from the location of the new Perelman Center, and a new CAPS office is set to open in January at 3624 Market St. However, other tenants still remain in the building slated to become the next Perelman Center, so construction cannot begin until those offices leave.
Construction on the center is expected to begin in December of 2015 and is set to be completed by January of 2018.
Correction: A previous version of this article said the center would be 11,000 square feet. It will actually be 111,000 square feet. The DP regrets the error.
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