The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Credit: Pauline Colas

The Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics, a new building which will house the Political Science Department and Economics Department, will officially be completed this coming May, several months after the original January 2018 completion estimate. 

The building, located on the corner of 36th and Walnut streets, will contain a 120-seat auditorium, classrooms, faculty offices, undergraduate study spaces, and conference rooms. It has 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 academic departments will move into the Perelman Center at the end of the current school year. 

Faculty members and students said that they hope the Perelman Center will centralize and unify the two departments. 

Credit: Pauline Colas

Political Science professor Marc Meredith said that his department is currently divided between two buildings — Stiteler Hall and an office building on 34th and Market streets.  

“I think it will make doing the governance of our department easier with us all being under the same roof,” Meredith said.

He added that he hopes the building will bring the Economics Department and Political Science Department together.

“I personally am very excited because I do some work in both fields,” Meredith said. “I think that being in the same building is really useful for building connections with people who you otherwise wouldn’t necessarily come into contact with on campus at all.” 

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

“One of the things that we are particularly looking forward to is having more breakout spaces where faculty and graduate students can work together in small groups,” Mailath said, adding that, “It’s always nice to get new space.” 

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

“This new poli sci building I think will enhance the College experience for a lot of people,” Askowitz said, citing the building’s location and new amenities. “I’m looking forward to taking classes there.” 

College freshman Zachary Zamore, who is considering majoring in economics, said that he hopes the new building will centralize the two departments. 

“I think that 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.