Campus makeover new look

Construction alters the look of Liberty’s landscape

New image — Liberty’s campus has been transformed by various construction projects. Photo credit: Leah Seavers

New image — Liberty’s campus has been transformed by various construction projects. Photo credit: Leah Seavers

As the year transitions into a cooler season, construction crews on Liberty University’s campus will be gearing up to reach construction goals before winter hits the hills of Lynchburg. With several projects underway and a number of them just beginning, the campus is rapidly taking on a new form.

Two construction projects across from Reber-Thomas Dining Hall are currently taking shape. The new Science Hall, being built directly across from the Reber-Thomas Dining Hall, will relieve the Circle dorms of their current use as classrooms. The second project is the new School of Music building.


Nearest to the Jerry Falwell Library is a recently started project that will expand the Center for Music and the Performing Arts and the Center for Music and Worship. According to Charles Spence, senior vice president for construction planning, the new facility will be split up into two sections, one mainly to house a large performance hall and the other strictly for academics.

“The Concert Hall will be used for some academic function, but it’s a 1,600-seat room,” Spence said. “It’s really more about performances and venues. The main portion of the (School of Music) will be lab after lab after lab after classrooms after teaching studios and practice studios. All of those things will reside in the newly named Center for Music and the Worship Arts building. It’s really the academic hub of the entire School of Music.”

Spence noted that the School of Music will be fully operational in approximately one year. Until then, the classrooms that are currently housed in the Circle dorms will remain there until the end of the academic year.

Dr. Vernon Whaley, dean of the school of music, emphasized his enthusiasm for the new facility.

“At the heart of the new Center for Music and the Worship Arts is a new, world-class, state-of-the-art concert hall that will prove to be the epicenter for arts presentation in South Central Virginia,” Whaley said. “The building of this concert hall makes a powerful statement to the entire arts community that Liberty University is serious about preparing students for arts careers.”

The second construction project across from the Reber-Thomas Dining Hall is the new Science Hall. The building is currently undergoing a big push for the “C-wing,” the section closest to DeMoss Hall, to be completed by January. According to Spence, the rest of the building will reach completion in March, providing students new opportunities to explore and expand their careers in the field of science.


Directly behind DeMoss Hall is something that has taken students by surprise. Where there used to be a courtyard filled with bushes, trees and a flowing water fountain, the area is now home to ripped up trees, large swaths of dirt and a new view of the Jerry Falwell Library. In the future, a large student center will occupy the area.

The Student Center, which is planned to take residence directly behind DeMoss Hall, will be a place of enjoyment and interaction for students looking to take a break from studies. The Student Center will house a large retail food court on the first floor with the possible appearance of Chick-Fil-A and four to five other food options.

According to Spence, the basement of the Student Center will accommodate an eight-lane bowling alley, as well as meeting rooms for Liberty clubs and organizations. Spence noted the need for a large venue to serve as an event area for Liberty.

“On the second floor will be a ballroom for those larger events that will seat up to something over 600 people,” Spence said. “We have been trying to get the (ballroom) at Liberty for a long, long time. We’ve been needing one of those.”

According to Spence, once the School of Music is completed, the Circle dorms will be taken down. The number two Commons dorm has already broken ground, and the third Commons dorm should begin to take form around June, according to the most recent plans.

As fall moves into Hill City, the push for projects to be completed has taken firm hold around campus grounds. Once the winter arrives, the labors will slow down to a crawl, and then ramp back up again in the spring.

To view live construction around campus and for more information about campus improvements, visit

Van Dyk is the news editor.

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