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UPDATE: Purchase finalized for Bedford County research campus

May 23, 2017 : Liberty University News Service

Liberty University has purchased the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER) facility and the surrounding 28-acre lot at the New London Business and Technology Center park on U.S. 460 in Bedford County.

The acquisition furthers the university’s goals to develop new technologies, create new business opportunities, and serve as a catalyst to grow its research capacity. Liberty will build an energy-focused research campus at the site to include several new buildings, including a new home for the School of Engineering & Computational Sciences, which is slated to open in 2019.

With a focus on all forms of energy generation, storage, transmission and control, the vision is for students, educators, and industry leaders to work side by side in state-of-the-art facilities. In partnership with the CAER organization, Liberty will work with companies in the energy sector to develop a research campus that will lead to new technologies and create new business opportunities.

All involved expect the partnership to have a tremendous impact on the area’s economy.

“This is an exciting step for Liberty University as we expand our presence as a research university and do so at a new location in Bedford County,” Liberty University President Jerry Falwell said. “Our investment in this facility and our commitment to relocate our School of Engineering & Computational Sciences to this site demonstrates our goal to expand our partnerships with business and industry and offer exciting new opportunities for our students.”

Liberty University Vice President of Special Projects Jonathan Whitt said, “The energy sector has incredible growth potential that promises job creation and economic development, vital to both our students and our community. We are already underway with a number of industry partnerships and more are in the works. We are excited to partner with the CAER organization to develop this new campus focused on the energy sector.”

“The CAER’s vision has always been the development and growth of a strong research university environment in the region,” said Bob Bailey, executive director of the CAER. “This exciting new collaborative project with Liberty University’s School of Engineering and Bedford County is a significant milestone in achieving this vision.”

“We welcome Liberty University’s School of Engineering to Bedford County and our New London Business & Technology Center park and look forward to the long-term innovation and commercialization that will be developed as a result,” said Wyatt Walton, Chairman of the Bedford County EDA.

“Liberty University continues to build upon its role as a key driver of economic growth in our region,” noted Delegate Kathy J. Byron (R-Bedford).  “By acquiring the CAER facility and locating its research campus and the School of Engineering and Computational Sciences in Bedford, Liberty is creating an economic magnet for opportunity for its students and our region.” 



 

Liberty purchasing research facility, plans to relocate engineering program

Feb. 2, 2017: Liberty University News Service

Liberty University is moving forward with plans to purchase the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER) building in Bedford County after the Virginia Tobacco Revitalization Commission approved the move on Tuesday. The CAER will become the new home of Liberty’s School of Engineering & Computational Sciences. The center is located on Lot 1 at the New London Business and Technology Center Park on U.S. Route 460. 

The goal is for the university to work with companies in the energy sector, establishing a research-focused campus within the park that will lead to new technologies and create new business opportunities. With a focus on all forms of energy generation, storage, transmission and control, the vision is for students, educators, and industry leaders to work side by side in state of the art laboratories.

Liberty University Vice President of Special Projects Jonathan Whitt said, “Liberty University is excited to build upon the initial investment in the CAER by the Tobacco Commission and others to develop a campus focused on advanced energy research. As home to our School of Engineering & Computational Sciences, we will have the opportunity to build much needed bridges between academia and the private sector. We view the energy sector as the new ‘enernet’ — a fast growing sector that promises exciting economic development and job creation.”

“We feel the future is very bright for Liberty University and, with this move, for Bedford County,” Liberty University President Jerry Falwell said. “Our investment in this facility is another example of our desire to increase our presence as a research university. It also paves the way for us to expand our partnerships with business and industry and offer exciting new opportunities for our students.”

Bedford County leaders expect the move to have a substantial impact on the local economy.

“It’s exciting that Liberty University is looking to grow its School of Engineering on Lot 1 in our premier, high tech business park,” said Traci Blido, economic development director. “The New London Business and Technology Center is already in a state-approved Technology Zone and we believe that LU’s focus in energy research will only help us in attracting new private sector growth and development there.”

Bob Bailey, executive director of the CAER said: “The CAER’s vision has always been the development and growth of a strong research university environment in the region. This exciting new collaborative project with Liberty University’s School of Engineering and Bedford County is a significant milestone in achieving this vision.”

“Liberty University and the CAER have been among the Tobacco Commission’s most reliable partners,” said Delegate Kathy Byron, a member of the Tobacco Commission. “The joining of these two forces, focused on advanced engineering and emerging technologies, will promote the vision of the Commission to establish a research industry environment that has tremendous potential to attract new businesses and investment to our area.”

Construction to complete the original master plan, including classrooms, offices and laboratories, is expected to start early this spring.