posted April 25, 2002

Science Center Ceremony May 2

Hope College will hold a ceremony commemorating the start of construction of the college's new science center on Thursday, May 2, at 5:15 p.m. on Van Andel Plaza immediately north of the building site.

The public is invited.

Construction began on the new building in mid- March and is expected to be finished in time for the start of classes in the fall of 2003. The college anticipates that renovation of the existing Peale Science Center, to which the new building is being connected, will follow through the summer of 2004.

"We are excited to be celebrating the beginning of construction for the new science center," said Hope College President James E. Bultman. "The new building, and the renovation of Peale, will be essential in helping the college maintain its position in offering one of the nation's leading programs in undergraduate science education."

The new construction and renovation are expected to total $36 million. The construction project is the largest in the history of Hope College, and is a major component of the $105 million "Legacies: A Vision of Hope" fund-raising campaign.

Participants in the ceremony will include Bultman; Al McGeehan, mayor of Holland; J. Kermit Campbell, chair of the college's Board of Trustees; Dr. James M. Gentile, dean for the natural sciences at Hope; Dr. George D. Zuidema, a 1949 Hope graduate; Matthew A. Nehs, a graduating Hope senior; and Dr. Timothy L. Brown, dean of the chapel at Hope.

The new science center will double the size of the current building, and will include classrooms, laboratories, and office and storage space. Peale Science Center, which opened in 1973, will be updated to better meet contemporary teaching and research needs.

The expanded building will continue to house the departments of biology, chemistry, biochemistry, the geological and environmental sciences, and psychology, with the department of nursing moving in from its cottage headquarters on 14th Street.

Architects for the project are Ballinger & Associates of Philadelphia, Pa., and Jickling Lyman Powell Associates Inc. of Troy. The construction manager is Granger Construction Company, based in Lansing.

The science center project is one of the four major initiatives of the on-going "Legacies: A Vision of Hope" capital campaign, which is also focusing on increasing the college's endowment, constructing the DeVos Fieldhouse, and addressing a variety of other short-term and long-term facility and space needs. The campaign was launched in October of 2000.

A reception will follow the ceremony, at 5:30 p.m. at the Van Wylen Library courtyard. In the event of inclement weather, the reception will be held in the lobby of Van Zoeren Hall.