Apr 28, 2009

Construction continues to bring change to campus

by Anthony Barone and Matthew Coleman

Changes are coming to campus now and over the summer. Some projects have been underway throughout the spring semester to improve campus life, and some were begun in response to student requests.

One of the newest improvements to Liberty is the Thomas Indoor Soccer Center. Attached to the LaHaye Student Union, the facility will have two separate playing fields covered in state-of-the-art Astroturf and surrounded by glass walls for spectators to see through, according to the Liberty Journal. The facility also has televisions and wireless Internet connectivity.

“Having a facility like the Thomas Indoor Soccer Center will put the University at a whole new level,” Student Centers Director Andrea Sherwood said. “We are so proud to be able to add one more facet to the recreation and competition facilities that we have available for our students.”

For students like Sean Dalton, the facility provides an opportunity to play soccer in rain or shine.

“So many of my games got cancelled and didn’t get rescheduled,” Dalton said. “I am absolutely in love with (the new facility), and I can’t wait to play on (it).”

One of the most highly anticipated additions to Liberty, the Snowflex ski slope on Liberty Mountain is still underway. No precise date has been given for its completion.

“(The) Snowflex (project) is moving along as fast as we can,” Director for Construction and Planning Alan Askew said.

“We’ve been battling (rain) the entire project, but it’s coming along.”

Many of the changes being implemented throughout the campus are in response to a question-and-answer session held March 26, during which Chancellor Jerry Falwell opened the floor to anyone who wanted to express a concern or suggest an improvement for the school.

One of the changes agreed upon in the session is the addition of small windows or peepholes on every door on main campus, according to Maintenance Manager Scott Starnes. The installation of the peepholes will begin May 11.

In response to student concerns raised during the question-and-answer session, new parking light fixtures are being installed near David’s Place and the new Barnes & Noble bookstore. The new streetlights will be two-and-a-half times brighter than the previous bulbs.

In addition, the walkway between Doc’s Diner and the south end of East Campus will be receiving new streetlights. This add-on comes from concerns that the poorly lit walkway posed a safety hazard for students.

The lighting in much of North Campus and the Tolsma Indoor Track has been upgraded to use energy efficient light bulbs. The Student Union and the Schilling Center are scheduled to be upgraded next.

Falwell recently addressed the issue regarding the lack of tennis courts on 90.9 The Light, Liberty’s campus radio station. He explained that the city has been trying to halt construction and only recently gave Liberty the go-ahead to build a new court.

Liberty continues to listen to students for concerns and ideas for improvement. Director of Auxiliary Services Lee Beaumont has expressed his desire for input from students about improvement.


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