Campus housing upgrades include more student common areas
In recent years, Liberty University has elevated its on-campus housing — literally — with the addition of three high-rise residence halls. These and other significant improvements to residence halls across campus have created community and provided students with top-notch amenities, garnering national attention. Recently, Liberty earned an A-plus rating and top 10 listing on Niche’s Best College Dorms for 2018.
“Residence Life seeks to provide a quality on-campus living experience,” explained Dustin Dubose, executive director of Residence Life. “We believe that a student’s living space is sacred and should provide a safe space for growth. Thus, we seek to ensure the physical aspects of the building, and the programming aspects provide an environment for the student to enjoy where they live as they grow into a Champion for Christ.”
The first phase of upgrades to the Hill residence halls began over the summer. Three of the seven buildings (residence halls 17, 18, and 19) received new roofs, better complementing the architectural design of campus. Construction will re-commence during the fall as an expansion project gets underway. By Fall 2019, residence halls 20, 21, 22, and 23 will each have an additional floor as well as new roofs. Renovations and upgrades to the bathrooms are also planned.
Altogether, the additions will bring approximately 200 new beds to the Hill, making up what will be lost after two East Campus residence halls are demolished to make room for a new parking garage.
The Hill buildings will also have 15,000 square feet of new central common space that students can access from any of the seven Hill residence halls. The connector space for the new common areas will also serve as a graded, covered walkway through the Hill area of campus with both steps and ramps.
“President (Jerry) Falwell has heard very loud and clear from students that they like those areas where they can study, do group projects, and just hang out. He was the one who pushed for the new common spaces,” said Dan Deter, vice president for major construction. “The whole administration is very committed to the student experience. A happy student is a retained student. We want our students to be here until they graduate. We want them to have a great experience while they are here.”
More recent improvements have been made to the Quad residence halls; bathrooms were renovated last year and new flooring was added this summer.
The three Residential Commons housing facilities (the first of which opened in 2014 and the latest last year) definitely stand out. Conveniently located near the heart of campus, the high-rise buildings feature hall-style living combined with apartment-style privacy — two people to a room with a private bathroom. They also have study areas with cozy seating and booths, electronic connectivity, and televisions.
DuBose said that Residence Life works to create meaningful community on campus that goes beyond the physical aspects of a building.
“Resident Assistants focus on intentionally interacting with students for their personal growth and connection with other students. RAs plan hall events that seek to create a sense of community on the hall, leading to support for one another. Additionally, the RAs seek to intentionally interact with all individuals on the hall for the growth of the student in a variety of areas.”
Students can also utilize a plethora of recreation facilities on campus, helping them stay active, build relationships, and enjoy diverse activities to break from their studies.