Liberty University completes purchase of Bedford County research facility

By  | 

BEDFORD, Va. (WDBJ7) The sale of a research facility in Bedford County to Liberty University has been finalized, according to a release from the school.

Liberty University has purchased the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER) facility and the surrounding 28-acre lot at the New London Business and Technology Center park on U.S. 460.

WDBJ7 broke the news in January about Liberty's interest in the CAER property. The university plans to move its School of Engineering and Computational Sciences the newly acquired campus, which the school purchased for $4.3 million.

Here is the full release from Liberty University:

Liberty University has purchased the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER) facility and the surrounding 28-acre lot at the New London Business and Technology Center park on U.S. Route 460 in Bedford County.

The acquisition furthers the University’s goals to develop new technologies, create new business opportunities, and serves as a catalyst to grow its research capacity. Liberty will build an energy-focused research campus at the site to include several new buildings, including a new home for the School of Engineering and Computational Sciences, which is slated to open in 2019.

With a focus on all forms of energy generation, storage, transmission and control, the vision is for students, educators, and industry leaders to work side by side in state-of-the-art facilities. In partnership with the CAER organization, Liberty will work with companies in the energy sector to develop a research campus that will lead to new technologies and create new business opportunities.

All involved expect the partnership to have a tremendous impact on the area’s economy.

“This is an exciting step for Liberty University as we expand our presence as a research university and do so at a new location in Bedford County,” Liberty University President Jerry Falwell said. “Our investment in this facility and our commitment to relocate our School of Engineering and Computational Sciences to this site demonstrates our goal to expand our partnerships with business and industry and offer exciting new opportunities for our students.”

Liberty University Vice President of Special Projects Jonathan Whitt said, “The energy sector has incredible growth potential that promises job creation and economic development, vital to both our students and our community. We are already underway with a number of industry partnerships and more are in the works. We are excited to partner with the CAER organization to develop this new campus focused on the energy sector.”

“The CAER’s vision has always been the development and growth of a strong research university environment in the region,” Bob Bailey, executive director of the CAER said. “This exciting new collaborative project with Liberty University’s School of Engineering and Bedford County is a significant milestone in achieving this vision.”

“We welcome Liberty University’s School of Engineering to Bedford County and our New London Business & Technology Center park and look forward to the long-term innovation and commercialization that will be developed as a result,” said Wyatt Walton, Chairman of the Bedford County EDA.

“Liberty University continues to build upon its role as a key driver of economic growth in our region,” noted Delegate Kathy J. Byron (R-Bedford). “By acquiring the CAER facility and locating its research campus and the School of Engineering and Computational Sciences in Bedford, Liberty is creating an economic magnet for opportunity for its students and our region.”