Kutztown University Breaks Ground on Admissions Welcome Center

University officials shoveling dirt at groundbreaking

(L to R): Gavin Stone, Student Government Board president; Jennifer Castro, director of Admissions; Robert Grim, Esq., chair, KU Council of Trustees; Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson, university president; Dr. Learie Nurse, vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs; Dr. Lorin Basden Arnold, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs; Matt Delaney, vice president for Finance and Facilities.

KUTZTOWN, Pa. – Kutztown University has begun its latest building renovation on campus, transforming the Poplar House into the new Kutztown University Admissions Welcome Center to greet prospective students and their families. The new facility is expected to open spring 2025.

Located at the entrance to campus, at the corner of Kutztown Rd. and College Blvd., the new Admissions Welcome Center will include a renovation of the Poplar House and a new 10,300 square foot addition. The new addition will include a lobby and gathering space with a reception/information counter with interactive displays and kiosks; a large multi-purpose meeting room, capable of both table seating for receptions or lecture style layout for presentations; a catering kitchen to support special events; offices for a portion of admissions department staff; and a lounge for student tour guides. The facility will also include state-of-the-art HVAC, lighting and audio/visual features.

“We are pleased to see construction begin on our new Admissions Welcome Center after so many years of planning,” said Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson, university president. “We envisioned this as a gateway to our campus where prospective students and their parents could be welcomed in a comfortable environment and receive all the pertinent information on KU before embarking on tours of our wonderful campus. We are particularly pleased that once again, we are able to honor our past by including the historic Poplar House as part of the overall construction, while fulfilling the needs of our future.”

“The new Admissions Welcome Center is a significant strategic investment that reinforces our university’s vision for the future,” said Dr. Learie Nurse, vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. “This new facility will enhance organizational efficiency within the Admissions department and will further promote collaborative efforts across the university and within the community. It will be the gateway that welcomes prospective students and their families into Kutztown University and allow them to experience all the beautiful things that Kutztown University has to offer. I am delighted and excited to be a part of something so special that will serve generations to come.”

The Poplar House was first built in 1892 by the Kutz family. According to The Kutztown Patriot, on June 18, 1937, "the historic Kutz house," as it was labeled, was moved 140 feet in three stages using jacks, rollers and iron plates to its current location. The move was completed to align the home with the recently constructed President’s Residence and campus library (now the Graduate Center), which allowed in turn for the widening of the Kutztown Road through campus.

Through the years, the Poplar House served as faculty and student housing. At one time, it served as the Spanish House, student housing for those wishing to immerse in the language and culture. The building was last occupied in the early 2000s.

Rendering of exterior of Admissions Welcome Center
Rendering of interior lobby of Admissions Welcome Center
Rendering of interior lobby of Admissions Welcome Center
Rendering of interior meeting space of Admissions Welcome Center