Updates on new building projects around Liberty’s campus
Crawler cranes and Bobcats on Liberty University’s growing campus are popular sights, and the spring 2016 semester is no different. With the steady increase of students on campus, the university is making arrangements to best accommodate the growing crowd.
The female wing of Residential Commons II opened, and students formerly living in the Annex made their way to main campus. Due to protocol suggested by the Office of Student Housing, the students were able to move in after the first week of classes.
“We typically try to move the students as soon as they arrive,” Charles Spence, senior vice president for construction and planning, said. “We really don’t like to move them at all during the spring semester because it’s a hardship on them. … This particular time, it was just unavoidable. It’s when the building was ready.”
A notable addition to campus has been the large flowerpots outside of the Vines Center. These not only added curb appeal to one of the campus’ most visited locations but also serve safety purposes. The new flowerpots offer more security to the building and will help restrict drivers from parking in front of the building and stopping the flow of traffic.
“They were an effort to soften up the hardscape outthere (as) part of the campus beautification plan,” Spence said. “At the same time they helped with the (presidential candidates). The police department was part of the request.”
The new student center is progressing and appears to be on track to open in the fall of 2016. According to Alan Askew, director of construction, at the end of July and into early August, they will begin bringing in furniture and training food court employees. The awaited student center will offer students six new food venues, including Argo Tea and Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, in addition to a full-service,eight-lane bowling alley.
The athletic training center, located just below the track in the Bailey parking lot, is set to open in the fall of 2017, and work has already begun on the project. Askew said this building will be the most unique building on campus, with three stories that invert, and will be a part of the “campus walk” that connects North Campus to the main campus, all the way to the Residential Commons.
“It really provides core critical functions to the athletic department, putting them all together in one building,” Spence said. “It’s a full service operation for the student athlete — tutoring, training for their physical ailments, weight training … those kind of things.”
As the academic focus of student athletics continues to gain attention, the university is doing what it can to help Liberty’s athletes succeed, both on and off the courts and fields.
“The academic piece is a big component because they’ve been scattered around trying to do that, so it gets them in one central place,” Askew said. “It helps with the service ability and also with the accountability because everyone will be together.”
Carter is a news reporter.