Liberty University construction plans to make progress over the summer
As the school year comes to a close, Liberty University’s Planning and Construction team is working hard to complete building projects which will be open for students in the fall semester.
These projects include the Residential Commons III, a new indoor football practice facility to open in June and a bridge connecting the east and south ends of the campus.
Brad Butler, planning coordinator of Liberty’s Planning and Construction department, said the bridge will connect East Campus by the lacrosse fields to South Campus by South Tower near the old softball practice facility.
“It won’t make sense initially because we haven’t modified too many of the roads, but in the near future we’re going to connect a whole new series of roads to that bridge,” Butler said.
“It will definitely provide some much needed access to the other side of the highway, but it will make more sense as we’re able to develop the components to our master plan for the campus.”
Butler said the bridge will serve students immediately when it opens around September, in addition to helping them in the long run as campus continues to grow.
“This will greatly help students get from the Commons area over to East Campus and to the parking lots over there, but that is just the first phase in a larger project called the Liberty Mountain Drive Project,” Butler said.
“The whole Liberty Mountain Drive project will connect 29 South all the way over to Odd Fellows Road.”
The Residential Commons III will also open in the fall in time for the start of the semester.
Butler said the building will consist of two five-story high-rise structures, with 392 dorm rooms holding 784 new beds for students.
Other buildings that will open later in the semester include the academic and performance center, estimated to open in October or November, a new natatorium for swimming and diving opening in November and the first of three phases of a new campus gun range around September.
Butler said the campus reconstruction project has been a joy to see come to fruition.
“This is obviously the witnessing of a miracle that we prayed for some 35 years ago when I was in school here,” Butler said.
“It’s the most excitement that I think I could ever experience in a job to see something that we all believed in so long ago actually come in to being, and it’s a testament to faith. It’s a testament to God’s perfect plan coming true, and it’s a testament to President Falwell’s intelligence and commitment to developing the vision for this university.”
Butler said getting to see Liberty students finally use the facilities the employees put so much time and effort into is rewarding.
“The real source of fulfillment for me is when you get to see the students occupy the space. That’s what really gets me,” Butler said. “When you see the students enjoying the facility as it was designed and using it as President Falwell intended it to be used, it’s a very rich experience.”
Butler said the leadership at Liberty has always kept serving the students as the main priority.
“Dr. Falwell used to say that everything rises and falls on leadership, and the first thing that the success and growth of Liberty tells me is that the leadership under President Falwell, the rest of administration and our board is amazing,” Butler said.
“(We are all) focused on delivering an institution that is for the students first. ”
Butler said the building and construction on campus serve Liberty’s ultimate mission of training champions for Christ.
“Getting to see the students go across the stage at graduation, get their degrees and go out and do what they spent the last four or more years training to do, that part of the mission is what it’s all about, and that makes all of our efforts worthwhile,” Butler said.
Cockes is a news reporter.