Liberty University President Jerry Falwell announced at Wednesday’s Convocation that demolition of the school’s current fine arts hall, Teacher Education hall, and science hall (all located behind Arthur S. DeMoss Learning Center) would be taking place sooner than expected to allow the major campus reconstruction to continue. Demolition could begin as soon as May 2014 and will take up to 30 days.
Falwell said the space is needed for the construction companies’ equipment and storage as they continue work on the new Science Hall and prepare to build the Center for Music and the Worship Arts, as well as the Campus Center addition to DeMoss Hall.
The one-story buildings (traditionally referred to as the “slab”) were built in the 1970s and ’80s. They were meant to be temporary structures but have long outlived their purpose.
Departments currently using the buildings will be moved temporarily this summer to some of the Circle residence halls that will be vacated this year when the first high-rise dormitory is occupied. Those dorms had been scheduled for demolition to allow for construction on the next high-rise dorm. Classes will commence in the new locations at the start of the Fall 2014 semester and could be held there for up to two years.
“We decided to build the next high-rise dorm on the site where dorms 14, 15 and 16 are now located. This will allow dorms 6, 7, 8, 13 and other dormitories to serve as temporary academic buildings. They will provide the same amount of space that we are losing in the demolition this summer,” Falwell said. “We appreciate the patience and understanding of our current students. While these changes create some inconvenience in the short term, they allow us to complete the new academic buildings much sooner.”
Liberty is in the midst of a $500 million campus reconstruction that calls for several new academic buildings, including the newly completed Jerry Falwell Library and the Center for Medical and Health Sciences scheduled for completion this summer. Other projects currently under construction include the school’s first high-rise residence hall, an expansion to the LaHaye Student Union for workout and recreation areas, a parking deck, and a vehicular tunnel creating a main entrance to campus.