Liberty University in the US has broken ground on the new 144,000ft² Center for Music and the Worship Arts.
The facility, which is part of the university's $500m campus rebuilding phase, will feature a 1,600-seat fine-arts auditorium, 50 practice rooms, 40 teaching studios, piano, songwriting and music computer labs and two student recital halls/classrooms.
The building's educational wing is expected to be completed by 2015 and the auditorium is scheduled to open later that semester.
Liberty University dean of the School of Music Dr Vernon Whaley said the new building will serve as a training facility for students.
The university's expansion plans also include a medical and health sciences building, residential commons, a LaHaye student union expansion, a science hall and a softball stadium.
The four-storey, 140,000ft² centre for medical and health sciences will be home to the new College of Osteopathic Medicine.
The residence hall, which is the first of six nine-storey facilities planned for the campus, will feature a central commons area on each floor.
The 163,550ft² LaHaye student union is undergoing renovations to 19,000ft² of its existing recreational space.
After completion, the new science hall, which will feature classrooms, research facilities and laboratories, will more than triple the size of the university's current facilities.
The softball complex will include an artificial surface for outfield and foul territories, a clay infield, lights, a video scoreboard and 1,000 chairback seats.
Image: Ground-breaking ceremony of the new Center for Music & the Worship Arts. Photo: courtesy of Liberty University.