posted April 15, 2004

Groundbreaking Ceremonies Scheduled

Groundbreaking ceremonies have been scheduled for two major campus buildings at Hope College.

A ceremony will be held on Friday, April 23, at 1:30 p.m. for the DeVos Fieldhouse, and on Thursday, April 29, at 5 p.m. for the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication.

"We as a campus community are excited to be celebrating the start of construction on the DeVos Fieldhouse and the Martha Miller Center, and are equally eager for their completion," said Hope College President James E. Bultman. "Both buildings are highly anticipated for the important support they will provide to programs that have outgrown their current homes."

The DeVos Fieldhouse is being constructed on Fairbanks Avenue between Eighth and Ninth streets. The Martha Miller Center is being constructed on Columbia Avenue between 10th and 11th streets. They are both scheduled to be completed for the 2005-06 academic year.

The April 23 DeVos Fieldhouse groundbreaking is taking place at the site and running in conjunction with the college's annual student-oriented Spring Festival. Participants will include Bultman; the Rev. Paul H. Boersma, senior chaplain at Hope; Albert McGeehan, mayor of Holland; James L. Jurries of Holland, a 1963 Hope graduate who has been volunteer coordinator of project funding; Dr. R. Richard Ray Jr., chairperson of the college's department of kinesiology; Hope sophomores Bria Ebels and Jeff Carlson, both of Holland; Robert Vander Weide of Grand Rapids, son-in-law of Richard and Helen DeVos; Steve Hotujac, principal of the architectural firm of Ellerbe Becket; and the college's Wind Symphony and Anchor Band.

The April 29 Martha Miller Center groundbreaking ceremony will begin at the college's Maas Center and then move to the site. Participants will include Bultman; Boersma; Dr. James Boelkins, provost at Hope; Dr. Deirdre Johnston, chairperson of the department of communication; Dr. Sander DeHaan, chairperson of the department of modern and classical languages; Dr. Neal Sobania, director of international education; Vanessa Greene, director of multicultural life; Phil Miller, who is a member of the college's Board of Trustees and a son of Martha Miller; and Craig Nicely of the Design Plus architectural firm. Eight graduating international students each carrying their own country's flag will lead the gathering to the building site across Columbia Avenue. The ground-breaking itself will be conducted by Bultman; Miller; Nicely; Joel Bouwens, who is chairperson of the college's Board of Trustees; Dr. Paul Fried, retired from the Hope faculty and former director of international education; and Sarah Quesada-Lubbers, a Hope sophomore who is from Holland's sister city of Queretaro, Mexico, and a great-granddaughter of Hope's seventh president, Dr. Irwin Lubbers.

The DeVos Fieldhouse will be built on the Eastern Gateway to the community, on Fairbanks Avenue near Eighth and Ninth streets, in a park-like setting that includes the site of the former Western Foundry and city Street Department.

The 102,000 square foot building will house the department of kinesiology and the college's athletic training program, and will also serve as home court for the college's volleyball and men's and women's basketball teams. Designed to seat approximately 3,400 fans, it will also serve as a venue for other college and community events.

The kinesiology and athletic training programs are currently housed in the college's Dow Center. The men's basketball team has played its home games at the Holland Civic Center, and the women's basketball and volleyball teams have played their home games at the Dow Center. The relocations will not only make more room for other programs within the Dow Center but also make the gymnasium more available for intramurals and other student use.

The fieldhouse is being named for Richard and Helen DeVos, honoring the couple's impact on the quality of life in western Michigan, the Holland community and at Hope. The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation contributed a $7.5 million anchor gift to the project.

The construction manager for the fieldhouse project is the Dan Vos Construction Co. of Ada. The architectural firm is Ellerbe Becket of Kansas City, Mo.

The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication will be built on Columbia Avenue between 10th and 11th streets, on property formerly occupied by Lincoln Elementary School.

The two-story, 49,000 square foot building will house the departments of communication and modern and classical languages, and the offices of international education and multicultural life, with an emphasis on ways that the four programs can interconnect.

The department of communication will be relocating from Lubbers Hall, and the department of modern and classical languages will relocate from Graves Hall. The office of international education will move from a home located in the center of campus, and the office of international education will relocate from the college's DeWitt Center. The moves will in turn provide additional space in the existing facilities for use by other programs.

The Martha Miller Center is being named in honor of the late Martha Miller, a member of the college's Class of 1924, who died on Sunday, May 16, 1999, at age 96. Miller's family provided a $3 million leadership gift on behalf of the project through her estate.

Construction manager for the Martha Miller Center is Lakewood Construction Co. of Holland. The architectural firm is Design Plus of Grand Rapids.

Hope College is in the midst of the most ambitious campus development program in its 142-year history. Through the development of what is being called the new Eastern Gateway entrance, the size of the campus has increased by nearly 40 percent (55 to 77 acres).

The projects are part of the college's current "Legacies: A Vision of Hope" fundraising campaign. Other major initiatives have included raising endowment and construction of the college's new science center and renovation of the existing Peale Science Center. The new science center opened in August of 2003, and the Peale renovation is scheduled to be completed for the start of the 2004-05 school year.