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Flawed social sciences building to be replaced by $60 million structure

ASU political science professor Patrick McGowan begins the process of organizing his new office on the fourth floor of the Matthews Center.

Construction on a new $58.8 million ASU Social Sciences building between the Stauffer Communication Arts building and Payne Education Hall will begin in spring to replace the original structure.

A routine building inspection last year found structural flaws in the current Social Sciences building. Officials said it will likely be demolished in two to three years.

“This is an unexpected condition to be losing this building,” said Jim Hathaway, spokesman for the Liberal Arts and Sciences department. “We’re already tight on space. It was news that nobody was prepared for.”

Under current plans, the new building will extend into a substantial portion of the lawn next to Forest Mall.

Mernoy Harrison, vice provost for Administrative Services, said visitor’s parking lot 8 would also be removed to make way for the construction.

The proposed construction will provide office space for the Social Sciences department and faculty, with classroom space for 1,600 to 2,500 students.

Inspectors determined that the fourth floor of the existing building had to be emptied to ease the structural load on the building.

Remodeling of the fourth floor of the Matthews Center started in July to make room for the displaced political sciences faculty offices and is currently in the final stages of construction. Faculty and staff began the move into Matthews Center last week.

Robert Youngblood, chair of the political science department, said the change has been relatively painless as a professional moving company was used to move the offices.

“The only inconvenience has been not having bookshelves, but there’s no other way to do it,” Youngblood said.

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