Capital Projects Update

Terry Brown, Assistant VP Facilities, Facilities Maintenance & Construction

Terry Brown, Assistant VP Facilities, Facilities Maintenance & Construction

As the University begins the project to renovate the Defrancesco Classroom building, it is also in the planning stages for several other projects recently approved by the State System Board of Governors.  These projects, totaling about $50M include the following:

  • Renovation and expansion of the Poplar House to serve as a visitor's center
  • Replacement of Lytle Hall (funding release expected in 2021/22)
  • Renovation of Keystone Hall and Field House (funding release expected in 2022/23)

Because of these projects, KU is in the top three of the PASSHE universities in terms of total expected capital appropriations support through 2022/23.  

PASSHE Capital Spending Plan 2018-19 though 2022-23. Bar graph showing the PASSHE institutions spending plan.

Visitor's Center

Funding for the Visitor's Center project is slated to be released by the State during the 2020/21 academic year. Please know that this time frame is not guaranteed and is subject to change based on the State's fiscal situation.

This project was first discussed in the mid 2000's with a 'Conceptual Layout' plan documenting the direction of the project at that time produced by STV Architects in 2007.  Here is an excerpt from those planning conversations:

This project is required to renovate a former local residence owned by the University that was previously used as a special interest house for resident students. The facility is currently "mothballed" and unused by the University because of the need for complete life safety, fire code, ADA, and IBC code compliance projects in order to be able to be occupied for use of any type. This facility has historical significance to the area in that it was originally owned by descendants of the founder of the town and is one of what the local residents call "The Mansions on the Hill". Therefore, demolition is not a viable option. 

The University believes having a gateway visitor's center to the campus will enhance our recruitment efforts and plans to reconfigure this space into a "single stop" location for visitors and prospective students. The facility will house representatives from Public Safety, Admissions, and other university offices to support this effort. Currently, no such venue exists and visitors to the campus have no idea where to go to get information or directions. The new center will offer that opportunity as well as provide spaces for community use for meetings and functions. This project reflects the University's recognition of the importance being a strong community partner and wants this facility to be able to be used by all parties. As previously stated, the project also maintains some of the local character of the community by restoring a residence with historical significance to residents of the Kutztown Borough.