Construction on a new Admissions Welcome Center on the ground floor of the Perry-Castañeda Library will begin this spring.
The current welcome center is located off-campus at Walter Webb Hall on Guadalupe and 25th Street. Miguel Wasielewski, executive director of admissions, said the location and accessibility of the PCL is ideal to house the new center.
“It’s right in the middle of a very vibrant student community with Jester right there,” Wasielewski said. “You have the arts represented with the Blanton and then you have the PCL itself, which is a representation of different academic resources and research available at the University.”
Along with a large reception area, office spaces and an auditorium, the center will have admissions counselors on-site, Wasielewski said.
“Families will have an opportunity to actually walk in and sit down with a counselor to discuss all of their options,” Wasielewski said. “That’s something we haven’t been able to provide at the current Walter Webb area.”
Jill Stewart, associate director of project management and construction services, said construction on the center will be completed by this fall.
“We still have to move some people around inside the building and there might be some other pre-construction prep work left to do before we start,” Stewart said.
The center will take over space which previously held study spaces, and books from that area will be relocated to an off-site location, Wasielewski said.
Because the center will be located on the ground floor of PCL, Wasielewski said there should be minimal noise during construction to distract students from studying.
“We don’t anticipate it’s going to be bothersome,” Wasielewski said. “Construction crews are going to be mindful of the fact that there’s going to be high traffic periods and will try to accommodate for that.”
Electrical engineering sophomore Kishan Dayananda said when he toured the UT campus two years ago, the experience seemed unorganized.
“If you visit the campus like the way I did, and they just have you meet somewhere and walk around, it’s a little hectic,” Dayananda said. “The new centralized location will be really helpful.”
Wasielewski said he hopes this new center will give prospective students a more accurate representation of what campus life is like at the University.
“We had an intentional, thoughtful approach to what we will actually put in that center,” Wasielewski said. “This building is designed to showcase the Longhorn experience and roll out the burnt orange carpet for our visitors.”