The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University expects to move into a new headquarters complex early next year, the center announced.

The DeLight E. Breidegam Building, a $2.4 million, 10,000-square-foot complex, is located immediately west of campus.

At 15155 Kutztown Road, the building is currently undergoing extensive renovation to accommodate the heritage center.

It had once housed the Kutztown University professional services department.

Patrick J. Donmoyer, director, said the new facility enhances the center’s mission of preserving the Pennsylvania German folk culture.

“The project represents a significant commitment by the university to preserve the history, culture and language of the region,” he said.

Founded in 1991, the center is an open-air folklife museum on the historic Sharadin farmstead on the northwestern edge of campus. Onsite are a 19th century farmhouse, the Freyberger one-room schoolhouse and a classic Pennsylvania Dutch barn.

Its library is available for genealogical, historical and linguistic research. The center also publishes Hiwwe wie Driwwe, the world’s only Pennsylvania German newspaper, and an annual publication showcasing premiere research in Pennsylvania German studies.

The center’s new headquarters will include a 3,100-square-foot library to house its extensive collection of books, manuscripts, photographs and documents depicting four centuries of Pennsylvania German culture.

A state-of-the-art research library will be open to students, faculty, visiting researchers and the public.

The building also provides space for archive and special collections management, offices for the center staff, a board room for the center’s advisory committee and an office for the Freyberger Endowed Chair of Pennsylvania German Studies.

The building was designed by KCBA Architects of Lehigh County.

The center and the Kutztown University Foundation have undertaken a fundraising campaign in support of the project.

For information, contact the foundation at KUF.org or 610-683-4110. The center can be reached at heritage@kutztown.edu or at 610-683-1589.

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