Lynchburg, Va. (PRWEB) February 02, 2017
Liberty University is moving forward with plans to purchase the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER) building in Bedford County after the Virginia Tobacco Revitalization Commission approved the move on Tuesday. The CAER will become the new home of Liberty’s School of Engineering & Computational Sciences. The center is located on Lot 1 at the New London Business and Technology Center Park on U.S. Route 460.
The goal is for the university to work with companies in the energy sector, establishing a research-focused campus within the park that will lead to new technologies and create new business opportunities. 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 laboratories.
Liberty University Vice President of Special Projects Jonathan Whitt said, “Liberty University is excited to build upon the initial investment in the CAER by the Tobacco Commission and others to develop a campus focused on advanced energy research. As home to our School of Engineering & Computational Sciences, we will have the opportunity to build much needed bridges between academia and the private sector. We view the energy sector as the new ‘enernet’ — a fast growing sector that promises exciting economic development and job creation.”
“We feel the future is very bright for Liberty University and, with this move, for Bedford County,” Liberty University President Jerry Falwell said. “Our investment in this facility is another example of our desire to increase our presence as a research university. It also paves the way for us to expand our partnerships with business and industry and offer exciting new opportunities for our students.”
Bedford County leaders expect the move to have a substantial impact on the local economy.
“It’s exciting that Liberty University is looking to grow its School of Engineering on Lot 1 in our premier, high tech business park,” said Traci Blido, economic development director. “The New London Business and Technology Center is already in a state-approved Technology Zone and we believe that LU’s focus in energy research will only help us in attracting new private sector growth and development there.”
Bob Bailey, executive director of the CAER said: “The CAER’s vision has always been the development and growth of a strong research university environment in the region. This exciting new collaborative project with Liberty University’s School of Engineering and Bedford County is a significant milestone in achieving this vision.”
“Liberty University and the CAER have been among the Tobacco Commission’s most reliable partners,” said Delegate Kathy Byron, a member of the Tobacco Commission. “The joining of these two forces, focused on advanced engineering and emerging technologies, will promote the vision of the Commission to establish a research industry environment that has tremendous potential to attract new businesses and investment to our area.”
Construction to complete the original master plan, including classrooms, offices and laboratories, is expected to start early this spring.
About Liberty University
Liberty University, founded in 1971, is the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation, the largest university in Virginia, and the largest Christian university in the world. Located near the Blue Ridge Mountains on more than 7,000 acres in Lynchburg, Va., Liberty offers more than 500 unique programs of study from the associate to the doctoral level. More than 250 programs are offered online. Liberty’s mission is to train Champions for Christ with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for impacting tomorrow’s world.