Social Science Building Project is underway

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Image: Gary Catchen
One of a series of pictures Gary took of Liberal Arts buildings around 2004.


The project to design and build a new social science building has now formally begun.  The Provost has appointed a program committee to determine what will be needed in the new building.


The Process.It will be a long process and exact dates are not final.  The program committee is scheduled to report late this year with a statement of what the new building is to accomplish and an accounting of what the new building needs (the number of offices, the number and size of seminar rooms, the number and size of meeting rooms, the number, type, and adjacencies of administrative spaces, the number and type of labs, and so forth).  There will be opportunities, beginning soon and continuing to early in the fall semester, for staff, student, and faculty input. Of course, there are always more needs than space, so tradeoffs will need to be identified and considered. If the program plan is approved, bids will be let for an architectural firm to design the building. The Board of Trustees will need to consider and approve that firm before work can proceed.  We hope that this will happen during 2014 – 2015.

Another committee will then work with the architectural firm to design the building.  At that stage, we will also appoint a faculty and staff advisory committee which will have input throughout the process. Once the building is designed, bids will be let for the construction work. Again, the Board of Trustees must approve the contracts.


Projected Building.The building will be designed to hold three units, but current plans call for the building to be built in two stages.  First, the sociology – PRI part will be built; a building of about 20,000 assignable square foot.  Then later, the anthropology portion will be added on.  Of course, we are hoping that it all could be built together, but funding would have to emerge sooner.   The building is likely to be five stories tall; it will not be a tower like Oswald.

We intend to stay in touch about this project.  This website is part of that communication.  We will update it periodically as we know more.  We will also have created a listserve for those who would like periodic updates coming to them.   We will supplement group meetings about the new building with opportunities to raise issues and offer suggestions and send pictures through social media too.

This is a very exciting project and a wonderful expression of confidence in our units by central administration.  I look forward to your suggestions as we move forward.

With regards,


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