Construction Will Welcome Back Thousands of College Students

Lynchburg, VA - Lynchburg City officials say they have all hands on deck to make sure city-wide construction projects end before thousands of college students return to the Hill City.

Jackhammers and bulldozers have become the sounds of summer in Lynchburg. The sites have become construction crews lining city streets, and packing the campus of Liberty University. Soon, nearly 13,000 students will be back on campus.

"We're not just transforming the campus, but we're actually rebuilding the campus" said LU Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr.

Liberty is undergoing a $400 million face lift, including new athletic facilities, a library and dorms.

"It's going to be a challenging semester for our students with all the construction" said Falwell.

Falwell says the only project to be completed by August 15, the date students return, will be a basketball practice facility.

A library and a dining complex will be completed by November, and the school's Wards Road access tunnel by the end of the year.

"What we're going to ask our students to do is think about all the benefits and how wonderful it's going to be when it is all finished" said Falwell.

But even off campus, the nearly 13,000 students won't escape the sights and sounds of construction.

"Those construction projects are on schedule and doing well. The return of students is not going to really affect the construction project schedule whatsoever," said Lynchburg's Director of Public Works Gaynelle Hart.

Hart says projects have been moving as quickly as possible, and that they'll be done when the work is finished, not when the students return.

"I understand that it's an inconvenience for many citizens, but just hang in there and it will benefit us in the end," she said.

Around Lynchburg, a part of the Fifth Street and Midtown connector projects will be completed by early August. Work on Wards Road will be done by October.