Hope Begins Community Fund-Raising as
Spectator Facility Progresses
Posted July 9, 2002
HOLLAND -- Hope College's effort to build a multi-
purpose spectator facility has entered a new phase with the
college seeking local support for the project, which is
being planned with community use in mind.
Hope announced the community phase of fund-raising
for the DeVos Fieldhouse on Tuesday, July 9, during a press
conference held at the former Western Foundry site at
Fairbanks Avenue and 8th Street. Demolition of the vacated
factory, which the college purchased in late June, has
already started in conjunction with the project.
"We are very pleased to be sufficiently far along
with our fund-raising to announce that this is a project
that is going to happen," said Dr. James Bultman, president
of Hope College. "There is a considerable ways to go yet on
the fund-raising part of it and also with the acquisition of
some properties, but we will continue to work diligently on
addressing both of these matters."
A total of $13.5 million has already been raised
or pledged for the anticipated $20 million project. The
college hopes to raise $1.5 million from the community as it
seeks the final $6.5 million for the facility.
"At the present time, we want very much to give
people in the community an opportunity to participate as
they are able and as they desire in this project," Bultman
said. "At first blush it may seem since Hope is going to
own and operate the facility that this is a building just
for Hope College, but that's never the way that we
envisioned it. The intention from the beginning has been to
share this building with the Holland community."
"There is little doubt this facility will be great for
Hope--but I honestly believe it will be even better for the
Holland community," he said. "The setting and the facility
will totally transform the eastern gateway to the campus and
the community. Importantly for the people and businesses in
Holland, this project will come with no tax or bonding
implications as would have been necessary with the defeated
Area Center project and as is the case in virtually all
The fund-raising effort is being led by Jim
Jurries of Holland, who had also chaired the fund-raising
efforts for the Area Center project that had been proposed
in the latter 1990s. Jurries noted that he believes the
fieldhouse will help meet a critical need for the community.
"I'm excited about what such a facility will add
to both Hope College and the Holland community," Jurries
said. "With a team of community volunteers, we hope to
raise sufficient funds to make the dream a reality."
The facility is being designed to help enhance
downtown's "eastern gateway," and according to Bultman the
site plan will emphasize green space and attractive
landscaping in an open, park-like setting. The building,
designed to seat up to 3,500, is being named in recognition
of a $7.5 million anchor gift from the Richard and Helen
Hope plans to begin construction in the fall of
2003, with completion planned for late in the fall of 2004.
The college is currently developing program
statements that will consider college needs and community
use. Potential uses include intercollegiate athletic
events, sports events for local high schools, graduations,
concerts, Tulip Time events and other community events.
Bultman noted, for example, that he intends for the building
to host Holland Christian's basketball games, particularly
as future renovation activity will make the Civic Center
Hope teams expected to call the building home
include men's basketball, volleyball and women's basketball.
The fieldhouse will provide the first on-campus
home court for the men's basketball team in more than 70
years. Hope has played its men's basketball games at the
Holland Civic Center since the 1954-55 season. The team has
not played its home games in an on-campus facility since the
1929-30 season, when it moved from the Carnegie Schouten
gymnasium to the Holland (National Guard) Armory, where
games were played until the Civic Center was built.
The Dow Health and Physical Education Center,
opened on the Hope campus in 1978, was designed as an
activity-oriented facility, and has served to a limited
degree as a spectator facility for sports including
swimming, volleyball and women's basketball.
The college announced the spectator facility
project and the leadership gift from the Richard and Helen
DeVos Foundation, the largest gift ever given to Hope for a
capital project, in March of 2001.
The project is a part of the college's $105
million "Legacies: A Vision of Hope" capital campaign.
Fund-raising for the spectator facility initially
ran alongside the campaign, announced in October of 2000 as
an $85 million effort focused on renovating and expanding
the college's science center; increasing endowment; and
addressing short-term and long-term facility and space
needs, including the construction of the Martha Miller
Center for the departments of communication and modern and
In January of this year, reflecting the progress
made in both efforts, the college's Board of Trustees
authorized folding the spectator facility project into the
campaign, raising the "Legacies" goal to $105 million.
Through the end of June, Hope had raised nearly $89 million
through the campaign.