Students see new architecture
Construction transforms campus to offer new opportunities for students
Recently, construction has been at the forefront of campus attention as the university continues progress on several new buildings and structure expansions. With campus-wide development underway, the campus is currently home to a flurry of activity.
One of the biggest projects currently being worked on is the second commons dorm, located directly across from the Commons 1. The dorm will feature many of the same amenities that students are currently enjoying in Commons 1.
Charles Spence, senior vice president for construction planning, highlighted the importance of good weather in the dorm’s construction.
“At this point, the construction has seen very few setbacks other than being a lot of work to do in a short period of time,” Spence said. “We have had very little rain since the project started, which is one of the most important factors. A portion of it is due to be completed for the fall of 2015. The remainder and the total completion of the building is scheduled for January 2016.”
While South Campus has had a front-row seat to watching the massive dorms rise above the cranes, another area of campus that is seeing steel beams and yellow vests is across from the Reber-Thomas Dining Hall.
The science building, along with the new Center for Music and the Performing Arts, has been under construction since the beginning of the semester. Though classes have been temporarily moved into the Circle Dorms while the new buildings are under construction, the science building is quickly nearing completion.
“The new science hall will be partially opened for classes this spring,” Spence said. “The building is loaded with state-of-the-art labs and classrooms.”
Dr. Vernon Whaley, dean of the School of Music, highlighted the impressive facilities that can be found in the soon-to-be-completed Concert Hall and Center for Music and the Performing Arts.
“This building is just one more of the compelling reasons to study music at Liberty,” Whaley said. “Students will enjoy the 50 new practice rooms, new computer labs, songwriting suite, concert hall, large classroom space, private lesson commons areas, beautiful student recital areas, teaching studios, recording studio and piano lab.”
These new academic facilities will be a vast improvement to the earlier classrooms that were previously housed behind DeMoss Hall. With each building dedicated to a particular field of study, students will be able to concentrate more time to learning and studying rather than navigating from dorm to dorm.
Another facility that has been completed within the year is the Jerry Falwell Library, which was officially unveiled spring 2014.
Since opening last semester, the library has been able to offer a full suite of luxuries to incoming and returning students this semester.
“When the Jerry Falwell Library opened its doors Jan. 15, 2014, the $50 million building, named for the founder (of the university), became the academic cornerstone of the campus and the centerpiece of the university’s $500 million campus reconstruction projection,” Angela Rice, dean of the Jerry Falwell Library, said.
The library has no shortage of opportunities to learn and study in complete quiet or among friends.
“With over 170,000 square feet of physical space, the library is able to accommodate individual or group study in one of over 30 group study rooms, six learning commons — with three different levels of quiet to accommodate all study preferences — a two-story traditional reading room, a Curriculum Library, an archive reading room and a cafe,” Rice said.
North Campus was another portion of the university that profited from the campus-wide expansion.
“With the added space in the LaHaye Recreation and Fitness Center, there are now more opportunities than ever for students, faculty and staff to focus on their personal wellness,” Chris Misiano, senior director of Campus Recreation said. “With more equipment, a new rock wall and numerous other amenities, our staff has been overwhelmed by the positive response. LaHaye has record numbers coming through the turnstiles week in and week out.”
The new Center for Medical and Health Sciences has also offered much to incoming students, having officially opened its doors at the beginning of the fall
According to the facility’s webpage, the building houses a 12,000-square-foot Center for Standardized Patients and Simulation Lab, a 5,300 square-foot Anatomy Lab, a 5,000-square-foot Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Lab and a 7,500-square-foot Medical Library.
Dr. Timothy Leonard, associate dean of Biomedical Affairs and Research, underscored the resources found within the new facility.
“This amazing building boasts more than breathtaking views,” Leonard said. “Over $6 million has been invested to equip the Center with state-of-the-art technology for classroom instruction, hands-on clinical training using standardized patients and patient simulation, and biomedical laboratory and clinical research that will expand medical knowledge.”
The vehicular tunnel, located on Wards Road, has provided a much more convenient method of travel for students, staff and faculty. The tunnel was opened in May 2014 and has since provided a more efficient means of travel compared to the earlier railroad passage that was prone to long train crossing delays.
Liberty is currently seeing a development in academic and recreational facilities across campus, giving its occupants a chance to appreciate and observe, as the former Provost Ron Godwin would say, “accelerated dynamic growth.
Van Dyk is the news editor.