One of the largest Christian universities in the world is planning a major expansion for its campus and facilities over the next two years.
Liberty University, located in on a 6,000-acre campus in Lynchburg, Va., will undergo renovation and construction efforts, Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said last week.
An overview of the expansion was first reported by Liberty Champion, the university's student newspaper.
Falwell presented some of the capital improvement projects to the university's board of directors Friday.
The evangelical Christian university plans to open a 100,000 sq. ft. health sciences building on its East Campus by Fall 2012 that would house the university’s current health sciences programs.
Other projects include an intramural complex with a NCAA softball field, a seminary building on North Campus, a 6,000-8,000-seat amphitheater, a new visitors center, and renovations to the DeMoss Hall.
“The look of the campus is going to change again over the next two years,” said Falwell, according to Liberty Champion. “The campus will change almost as much in the next two years as it has over the last eight.”
Liberty University is believed to be the largest Christian university, with a student enrollment of over 62,000. The school has over 50,000 online students and 12,200 on-campus students.
"We're growing really, really fast," Liberty University spokesperson Johnnie Moore told The Christian Post on Monday. "Liberty's vision was to be for evangelicals what Notre Dame is for Catholics, or Brigham Young is for Mormons."
"Many of the major improvements over the next few years will be academic, others will involve new construction, and the renovation of existing facilities. Some will be involve the student life infrastructure of the university," said Moore.
Besides a growing student body, Falwell has given another reason for why the timing of the expansion projects made sense.
“Construction will never be cheaper, because right now the economy is so weak,” said Falwell.
Moore added that especially during a "season of recession" the construction work would also be a good way to provide employment to people in the community.
The university spokesperson said Liberty still needs to get approval from city officials and go through a number of steps before the plans can be finalized and construction can actually begin.