Monday, September 15, 2014

CVCC considers property sale

  • Published: April 9th, 2013

Liberty University has been approached by Central Virginia Community College (CVCC) as a possible buyer for its 102-acre site off Wards Road, following the announcement that the college is considering selling the property.

According to Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr., Liberty has expressed interest in the land given certain conditions.

Up to this point, Falwell and CVCC President John Capps have had multiple discussions, but everything is still hypothetical.

CVCC - CVCC wants to update its campus. Photo credit: Jazmin Quaynor

“There have been several discussions and inspections to determine if it would be feasible to purchase,” Liberty Executive Vice President Neal Askew said. “The purchase price has not been determined yet, which will be a major determining factor.”

Liberty’s board of trustees discussed the possibility of a potential land swap and purchase of the CVCC campus buildings in its meeting Friday, March 29.

“The board was generally positive about it,” Falwell said in an article by the News and Advance.

“This is more a conversation than it is a plan,” Liberty Director of Planning and Construction Charles Spence said. “It might be something that works for all parties, but then again, it might not work for either of us. We will need a lot more time to study and evaluate the potential uses of the space and the value of the purchase before a final determination can be reached.”

The campuses of Liberty and CVCC are located across Wards Road from each other. According to Askew, Liberty is in the process of building a vehicular tunnel under the railroad tracks. When completed, the tunnel is intended to provide access to Wards Road at the Harvard Street intersection, near CVCC.

According to CVCC officials, the idea to sell the land was proposed in part because the school, which was built in 1966, is sorely outdated and is locked in on all sides, limiting future growth.

“The first thing that we’re looking at is that the campus is becoming land locked with one entrance, and all of the growth in the area is causing traffic problems,” CVCC Vice President of Finance John Poole said. “The idea of building a whole new campus that meets today’s requirements for an institution of higher education really makes the idea quite palatable.”

According to the Virginia Community College System policy manual, before the sale can occur, the VCCS State Board must approve it. Depending on the details of the sale, it may need the approval of the General Assembly and the governor.

Liberty officials said that in the coming months, a commercial real estate appraiser will determine the full market value of the property. The university’s facilities team will also evaluate the site.

The market value of the college is unknown at this point, but Poole said that CVCC will have an independent assessment done.

If the purchase does take place, Liberty has yet to determine how the site would be incorporated into its current campus. Falwell does want staff to determine whether it is cheaper to refurbish the CVCC campus or construct a new building on one of the pieces of land that Liberty already owns.

“The actual use of the property and buildings has not been determined, although research is being done,” Askew said. “The land swap is certainly a possibility if an agreement can be reached with CVCC’s current facilities.”

According to Falwell, Liberty has two large areas for future expansion. The first is in the area between East Campus and the airport along the U.S. 460/29 bypass. The other is the land that runs several miles east from the Wingate and the new intramural fields below the Snowflex Centre.

Falwell also said that a new interchange will soon be built at Odd Fellows Road on the US 460/29 bypass, about a mile from Liberty.

“Liberty needs to determine if it would be preferable to build new facilities in these two areas or purchase the CVCC property and refurbish the older buildings there,” Falwell said. “Price will be a major factor in making this decision, along with the timing — that is, how quickly the community college could relocate compared to how long it would take to build new facilities on Liberty property. The land near the planned highway interchange could be swapped with CVCC as part of the deal to provide a location for a new CVCC campus.”

Poole does not know how much property CVCC needs to accommodate a new college or how much funding it would take to construct a new site, but he said that CVCC’s board of directors will discuss the proposal in their upcoming meeting.

“We’re not far enough into the conversation to be able to be clear about what our needs are going to be for the future, but this is an opportunity for us to build a state-of-the-art facility for the community to use,” Poole said.

“I think it could be a good thing for both schools,” Falwell said in an article by the News and Advance. provide access to Wards Road at the Harvard Street intersection, near CVCC.

According to CVCC officials, the idea to sell the land was proposed in part because the school, which was built in 1966, is sorely outdated and is locked in on all sides, limiting future growth.

“The first thing that we’re looking at is that the campus is becoming land locked with one entrance, and all of the growth in the area is causing traffic problems,” CVCC Vice President of Finance John Poole said. “The idea of building a whole new campus that meets today’s requirements for an institution of higher education really makes the idea quite palatable.”

According to the Virginia Community College System policy manual, before the sale can occur, the VCCS State Board must approve it. Depending on the details of the sale, it may need the approval of the General Assembly and the governor.

Liberty officials said that in the coming months, a commercial real estate appraiser will determine the full market value of the property. The university’s facilities team will also evaluate the site.

The market value of the college is unknown at this point, but Poole said that CVCC will have an independent assessment done.

If the purchase does take place, Liberty has yet to determine how the site would be incorporated into its current campus. Falwell does want staff to determine whether it is cheaper to refurbish the CVCC campus or construct a new building on one of the pieces of land that Liberty already owns.

“The actual use of the property and buildings has not been determined, although research is being done,” Askew said. “The land swap is certainly a possibility if an agreement can be reached with CVCC’s current facilities.”

According to Falwell, Liberty has two large areas for future expansion. The first is in the area between East Campus and the airport along the U.S. 460/29 bypass. The other is the land that runs several miles east from the Wingate and the new intramural fields below the Snowflex Centre.

Falwell also said that a new interchange will soon be built at Odd Fellows Road on the US 460/29 bypass, about a mile from Liberty.

“Liberty needs to determine if it would be preferable to build new facilities in these two areas or purchase the CVCC property and refurbish the older buildings there,” Falwell said. “Price will be a major factor in making this decision, along with the timing — that is, how quickly the community college could relocate compared to how long it would take to build new facilities on Liberty property. The land near the planned highway interchange could be swapped with CVCC as part of the deal to provide a location for a new CVCC campus.”

Poole does not know how much property CVCC needs to accommodate a new college or how much funding it would take to construct a new site, but he said that CVCC’s board of directors will discuss the proposal in their upcoming meeting.

“We’re not far enough into the conversation to be able to be clear about what our needs are going to be for the future, but this is an opportunity for us to build a state-of-the-art facility for the community to use,” Poole said.

“I think it could be a good thing for both schools,” Falwell said in an article by the News and Advance.

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