posted August 11, 2004

Busy Summer Anticipates School Year

Multiple major construction projects headlined an active summer on campus.

While the pace slows at Hope in many ways between May and August, the months also provide an essential opportunity for the college to build, renovate and upgrade.

The Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse and the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication, currently under construction, have been the most visible of the projects this summer. Since the groundbreaking ceremonies for both buildings in the latter part of April, work has progressed from initial digging and foundation work to the building of walls.

Both structures are benefits of the "Legacies: A Vision of Hope" comprehensive campaign. The DeVos Fieldhouse is being built on Fairbanks Avenue north of 11th Street, and is scheduled to open during the fall of 2005. The Martha Miller Center is being built on Columbia Avenue north of 11th Street, with completion anticipated in time for the 2005-06 school year.

In July, the college re-opened the renovated Peale Science Center, which is connected to the new science center that opened in August of 2003. Departments in the buildings include biology, chemistry, the geological and environmental sciences, nursing and psychology.

Construction on the project, also a "Legacies" initiative, ran more than two years, beginning in March of 2002 with digging for the foundation of the new building. A dedication ceremony and related activities have been scheduled for Friday, Oct. 8, during Homecoming Weekend.

The conclusion of the final phase of the science center project has initiated a series of moves, starting with the faculty and laboratories and the science museum slated to be located in Peale, all of which were squeezed temporarily into the new building. Those relocations have in turn enabled others to take their space in the new building, including the department of psychology, which for the past two years was temporarily located in a college-owned office building at 9 E. 10th St. That building is now being designated the Theil Research Center in honor of Henri and Eleonore Theil, and by October will house the Joint Archives of Holland and the A.C. Van Raalte Institute, which will move from the ground level of the Van Wylen Library and the 100 E. 8th St. building respectively.

Also with the completion of the science center work, Hope will be re-opening the parking lot immediately west of Peale along 12th Street with the start of the school year. Part of the lot behind the Martha Miller Center, along the railroad tracks between 10th and 11th streets, has already re-opened, with more space to become available when the building is done.

A major research instrument has been installed in VanderWerf Hall. The college's new Pelletron particle accelerator and attached microprobe facility for materials analysis arrived early this summer. Hope received funding for the equipment last year through a $660,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, the largest grant for scientific equipment in Hope's history. Preparations during the 2003-04 school year included removing the aging VandeGraaff accelerator that previously occupied the laboratory space.

The residential portions of Phelps Hall have been renovated. New carpeting has been installed in the hallways and new tile in all of the rooms. Ongoing upgrades of the college's fire systems included both Phelps and Kollen halls this year.

Other work on residences has included a variety of projects involving some 50 of the college's cottages. Projects have ranged from painting Avison's garage, to repairing plaster at Hinkamp, to replacing siding at Visscher.

Several other campus improvements both apparent and subtle will greet the full Hope community upon return in August. Additional projects this summer have ranged from the installation of new brick on the west patio of the DeWitt Center to replacement of the Fried Center's roof.