Every member of the campus community will be affected by changes to Hope's physical plant that have occurred summer.
Given the size of the incoming Class of 2007, that will be a lot of people -- possibly even a record number.
"It's the largest freshman class ever," said Jon Huisken, dean for academic services and registrar. "We're projecting probably the highest headcount enrollment ever."
Residence halls for Hope's new students will open on Friday, Aug. 22, at 10 a.m. Orientation events will begin that evening and continue through Monday, Aug. 25.
The opening convocation for the college's 142nd academic year will be held on Sunday, Aug. 24, at 2 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel. Dr. David Marker, who was on the Hope faculty for 19 years, serving as provost from 1974 to 1984, will be the featured speaker, and will present "Anchors of Hope in a TurbulentWorld."
Returning students are not to arrive on campus before noon on Sunday, Aug. 24. Classes will begin on Tuesday, Aug. 26, at 8 a.m.
The new science center will open this fall, housing the departments of biology, chemistry, geological and environmental sciences, and nursing. After the existing Peale Science Center is renovated during the coming school year, psychology will move in as well. The project is part of the $105 million "Legacies: A Vision of Hope" campaign.
The offices of Business Services, Financial Aid and Human Resources have all moved to the 100 East building on 8th Street.
The Office of Financial Aid, and arts coordinator Derek Emerson '85, have moved from the Sligh building on 11th Street so that the structure can be converted into student housing. Human Resources has moved from its house on Columbia Avenue for the same reason.
Hope is also adding two other cottages this year: the former department of nursing house on 14th Street (the department is moving into the new science center) and the former Higher Horizons house on 15th Street.
Business Services was formerly located on the second floor of the DeWitt Center, in space now housing portions of the Advancement program including the Alumni Office.
A gift from Larry Kieft '65 of Grand Haven, Mich., and his late wife Linda has provided a garden/seating area south of Van Raalte Commons near Dimnent Memorial Chapel.
A major renovation of Dykstra Hall includes new furniture in all of the individual rooms and cluster common rooms, as well as new exterior windows, flooring, carpeting, paint, and counter tops and sinks in thebathrooms, and behind-the-scenes upgrades to the electrical service.
The college has replaced the eldest two (1963 vintage) of the four boilers north of the DeWitt Center on 12th Street. The boilers serve all of the major central campus buildings. The new boilers are more efficient thantheir predecessors, and anticipate the increased demand that will be placed on the system by the new science center and the forthcoming Martha Miller Center.
In addition, Hope is also adding about 80 parking spaces on the former "Semco" property east of the railroad tracks between 12th and 13th streets. The lot should be completed sometime during the fall semester.
Not all of the improvements at the college occupy three-dimensional space. The Van Wylen Library is in the midst of adopting a new information system, the first such change since 1988. Most of the online catalog -- which includes materials at the college and Western Theological Seminary -- are available through the new system now, although the records for serials will stay on the old system into the fall. As in the past, users both on-campus and off-campus will be able to search for books by author, keyword, subject or title.
Most of the benefits in the new library system will be behind the scenes, improving circulation, cataloging and acquisitions services. For example, electronic ordering and invoicing of books will soon be inplace. The library is also installing a new system that will make course reserve materials available electronically through the Web, so that students can have access to them any time.
Users will continue to see enhancements throughout the fall, including remote access to electronic databases, images of book covers and summaries attached to titles in the catalog, and links to special lists likerecently acquired videos and new books.