Rice University
Rendering of plans for a new social sciences facility at Rice University

Rice University ready to build new home for social sciences school

July 17, 2018
Construction is set to begin next month on the $38 million facility.

Rice University in Houston will break ground next month on a new home for its School of Social Sciences.

The $38 million, four-story, 73,000-square-foot Patricia Lipoma Kraft ’87 and Jonathan A. Kraft Hall for Social Sciences will be named to honor the lead donors for the project.

"This vibrant building will bring together key parts of the School of Social Sciences and the Kinder Institute, fostering community within the school and building strong connections across the campus and with Houston," Rice President David Leebron says in a news release.

The facility is expected to be completed by November 2019 and open prior to the spring 2020 semester. It will include classrooms, seminar and conference rooms, an interior courtyard, undergraduate and graduate student lounges and a multipurpose space that can hold nearly 300 people for guest lectures and other events.

The building is being designed to meet LEED Silver certification standards. It will be erected on the former site of an intramural field..

The exterior of the building will have a curtain wall at the northeast end that features the St. Joe brick traditionally used in Rice’s architecture, along with windows on the south and west sides. Cast stone and marble will add more color and detail to the building exterior.

The space will be home to the School of Social Sciences’ Sociology and Economics departments, the dean’s office, sociology lab space and the Texas Policy Lab. It will also house the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, the Boniuk Institute for Religious Tolerance and the Houston Education Research Consortium, which is part of both the School of Social Sciences and the Kinder Institute.

The architect for the project is Rogers Partners, and the general contractor is Tellepsen Builders.

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