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Science Center

A. Paul Schaap Science Center

The A. Paul Schaap Science Center gives Hope College one of the nation's premiere undergraduate science education facilities.

The $36 million project, completed in 2004, included construction of a new, 85,900 square foot building and the renovation of the existing, 72,000 square foot building.

The combined structures house the departments of biology, chemistry, geological and environmental sciences, nursing and psychology.

Paul and Carol Schaap

In May, 2006, the center was named in honor of alumnus A. Paul Schaap '67.

Quick Facts
Floor Plans
The Science Center Project News
Photo Galleries

Quick Facts

  • Hope has been recognized multiple times nationally as a leader in undergraduate science education and for its emphasis on research-based learning. Most recently, the 2006 edition of the "America's Best Colleges" guide published by "U.S. News and World Report" included Hope in its listing of colleges and universities that are outstanding in their emphasis on undergraduate research or creative projects. Although the schools on the list have been unranked numerically in recent years, Hope was tied for fourth place in the U.S. when the category debuted in 2002.

  • The science center project, part of the college's "Legacies: A Vision of Hope" comprehensive campaign, included both the construction of a new, 85,900 square foot building and the renovation of the existing, 72,800 square foot Peale wing.

  • In doubling the size of the existing Peale wing and reflecting changes in both technology and teaching methodology since Peale opened in 1973, the new building and renovation of Peale help assure that the college's facilities are equal to the outstanding teaching and scholarship that take place within them.

  • The building houses the departments of biology, chemistry, the geological and environmental sciences, nursing and psychology. It was designed to complement the college's on-going emphasis on collaborative student-faculty research as a teaching model, and organized to facilitate connections between departments. .

  • The A. Paul Schaap Science Center is located on 12th Street between Central and College avenues, across from the Van Wylen Library and Van Zoeren and VanderWerf halls.

  • Construction began in March of 2002. The new building opened for the beginning of the 2003-04 school year, and the renovated Peale wing re-opened in August of 2004. A dedication ceremony was held on Friday, Oct. 8, 2004. On May 5, 2006 the college announced the naming of the building in honor of alumnus A. Paul Schaap '67.

  • Construction manager for the Science Center was Granger Construction Company, based in Lansing, Mich.

  • The architectural firm was Ballinger of Philadelphia, Pa., and Jickling, Lyman Powell Associates Inc. of Troy, Mich.

  • The project totaled $36 million. The cost of the new construction was $26 million and the renovation was $10 million.

  • Assorted Dimensions:
    • Building has three floors
    • New building: 85,900 square feet
    • Peale renovation: 72,800 square feet
    • Height of main atrium (from first floor to skylight): 78 feet
    • Overall length (east to west): 380 feet
    • Number of: teaching laboratories (combined project): 21
    • Number of: faculty research laboratories (combined project): 30
    • Number of: classrooms (combined project): 12
    • Features also include a science museum that emphasizes community outreach.

  • Previous Science Facility Milestones:
    • 1989/1990: VanderWerf Hall renovated (see 1964 entry below)
    • August, 1973: Peale Science Center opened (Houses departments of biology, chemistry, geological and environmental sciences, and psychology.)
    • September, 1964: "Physics Mathematics Hall" opened (Building is renamed VanderWerf Hall of Physics and Mathematics on Oct. 9, 1981. Renovation completed for beginning of spring, 1990, semester. Houses departments of computer science, mathematics, and physics and engineering.)
    • September, 1942: "Science Building" opened (Building is dedicated as Lubbers Hall for the Humanities and Social Sciences in October of 1974. Currently houses departments including communication, English, history, philosophy, political science and religion.)
    • September, 1903: Van Raalte Memorial Hall opened (Building included science classroom and laboratory space. The programs had found other homes well before April of 1980, when the building was destroyed by fire.)

    Floor Plans

    Science Center Site Plan (click to view a larger floor plan)

    Science Center First Floor (click to view a larger floor plan)

    Science Center Second Floor (click to view a larger floor plan)

    Science Center Third Floor (click to view a larger floor plan)

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    A. Paul Schaap Science Center Project News

    Special Publications

    Legacies: A Vision Fulfilled

    Science Center Dedication Booklet

    news from Hope College

    The news from Hope College stories all open as pdf documents. You will need the Adobe® Reader. If you do not have the plug-in for your browser, you may download it for free. Adobe® Reader.

    Science center named (June 2006)
    A lasting legacy (February 2005)
    Give the future (December 2004)
    Making a lasting difference (October 2004)
    Four cornerstones (October 2004)
    The Science Center (October 2004)
    Enduring Legacy (October 2004)
    A vision made reality (October 2004)
    Events to celebrate science center (August 2004)
    Touch every tomorrow (August 2004)
    A sprint to the start (August 2004)
    Gifts in action: the impact is real (October 2003)
    Setting the Stage (August 2003)
    Moving in (August 2003)
    Kresge grant relies on future gifts (June 2003)
    In their own words (February 2003)
    Gift of a life time (October 2002)
    Moving Ahead (October 2002)
    "Ground-breaking" makes it official (June 2002)
    The Human Equation (April 2002)
    Legacies expands to include fieldhouse (April 2002)
    Six Seniors, six stories (April 2002)
    More than bricks and mortar (February 2002)
    Science Center receives green light (February 2002)
    Campaign's goals all part of the plan (December 2001)
    Campaign will preserve research tradition (October 2001)
    Nobel Prize-winner reflects on science ed (June 2001)
    Gift Celebrates Hope's role (February 2001)
    Towsley supports project (February 2001)
    Campaign will be far-reaching (December 2000)
    A tale of two buildings (December 2000)

    Hope College Press Releases

    Science Center Named in Honor of Alumnus (May 5, 2006)
    Legacies Campaign Sets Record (January 28, 2005)
    Congressman Hoekstra Announces Hope to Receive $250,000 for Science Center (November 22, 2004)
    College Celebrates Science Center Project (September 27, 2004)
    Busy Summer Anticipates School Year (August 11, 2004)
    Kresge Foundation Challenge Grant Supports Science Center Project (March 7, 2003)
    Hope Will Hold Ceremony for New Science Center on Thursday, May 2 (April 25, 2002)
    Hope Expands Legacies Campaign to $105 Million (January 30, 2002)
    Hope to Begin Construction of New Science Center (January 28, 2002)
    Legacies Campaign Announced (October 05, 2000)

    Holland Sentinel special publication

    Learning Through Research (October 2004)


    Holland Sentinel

    Science center named after graduate
    Business president graduated from Hope College in 1967
    Read the Story (Saturday, May 6, 2006)

    Legacies of Hope
    Success of fund-raising campaign is a plus for entire community
    Read the Story (Thursday, February 3, 2005)

    Lasting Legacies
    Hope College tops historic fund-raising goal
    Read the Story (Saturday, January 29, 2005)

    Photo Galleries
    Construction is completed for the Science Center at Hope College. See some of the project highlights in our photo galleries.

    Science Center Dedication

    Science Center Construction Chronology