Liberty University unveils new concert hall, student union

By  | 

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) When students return to Liberty University this week, they may need a map to find their way around.

A lot of changes are being unveiled this fall, as school leaders continue their $500 million campus remodeling project.

Members of the marching band are among the first students back on the Liberty University campus this week and they're practicing in a brand new building.

The Center for Music and the Worship Arts features dozens of music labs and a concert hall designed to host everything from lectures to symphonies.

"It's amazing," remarked Liberty University junior, Kara Witt.

Witt has lived in Lynchburg her whole life, but even she has a hard time finding her way around campus these days.

"My mom works here and I've been around campus a lot, but to see how much it has changed in just the last eight years has been crazy," Witt said.

"We're building the campus for the next 100 years in the next 10," explained Liberty University planning coordinator, Brad Butler.

Among the new buildings is the Montview Student Union. The 168,000 square foot facility features four floors of meeting space and offers students six new dining options.

"They'll be able to get quicker meals between classes and not have to walk long distances to the dining hall," said Louis Cambeletta, Liberty University's Associate Vice President for Auxiliary Services.

Under construction just east of the student union is the Freedom Tower, a 17-story structure that will eventually rise to be the tallest building in Lynchburg at approximately 270 feet.

The facility will house Liberty University's school of Divinity. Construction is progressing at a rapid pace of roughly one floor every eight days, according to Butler.

"We're responding to the needs that the student body is presenting to us," Butler said of the campus makeover. "We're trying to do a lot in a brief amount of time."

Also under construction right now is a third high-rise dormitory and at least four new athletic facilities.

One project that is getting underway right now will impact people off campus. Liberty is building a new bridge across Route 460 to connect the main campus with LU's new medical school on Liberty (Candlers) Mountain. Drivers will have to slow down in that area during construction.