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Property near airport purchased for School of Aeronautics

January 31, 2011 : Mitzi Bible/Liberty University News Service

Liberty University announced today that a donor has assisted the university with the purchase of a building near Lynchburg Regional Airport to be used by the School of Aeronautics.

The two-story, 24,000-square-foot building is located on Airport Road adjacent to the airport and a quarter-mile from Liberty’s current facility at Falwell Aviation Jet Center, soon to be renamed Freedom Aviation.

Dave Young, dean of Liberty University School of Aeronautics, said the purchase will allow for academic programs to be moved from the main campus and for the aircraft mechanic training program to move from the former Rose’s building at The Plaza shopping center in mid-town Lynchburg.

“It will allow us to move everything so we can be Liberty’s central ‘airport campus,’” Young said.

The building will house classrooms, administrative offices and several flight simulators. Plans are being made for an addition to the building, which would house the training equipment needed for the Aviation Maintenance Technician School.

The purchase comes just one month after Liberty announced plans to construct a new facility at Falwell Aviation Jet Center, which houses a fully functioning aviation company and all flight training operations for the School of Aeronautics.

After the announcement was made, Wayne B. Booth, a Liberty University donor and Board of Trustees member, contacted Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. and offered to convey the building to Liberty at close to half of its value. The building is appraised at more than $2.8 million.

“Wayne Booth helped my father acquire the property where Liberty University is now located in the early 1970s,” said Chancellor Falwell. “He and others helped the university acquire its first airplane around the same time. Now, Mr. Booth’s generosity will help our School of Aeronautics move into a new facility much sooner than we had hoped at greatly reduced costs. Liberty University is blessed to have friends and supporters like Wayne Booth.”

Liberty University School of Aeronautics, offering specializations in commercial/corporate aviation, military, missions and helicopter aviation, as well as aircraft mechanic, has grown from four students in 2002 to more than 300 enrolled in aviation courses for the Spring 2011 semester.