The Hope College Board of Trustees has given its approval to proceed with the construction of two major campus buildings.

At their winter meeting which concluded today (Friday, Jan. 23), the trustees accepted an administration recommendation that construction begin on the $22 million Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse and the $12 million Martha Miller Center for Global Communication.

Hope officials noted that while fund raising for both projects continues, pledges and contributions to date through the college's capital campaign, "Legacies: A Vision of Hope," will allow construction to begin.

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).

This past fall the college opened its new science center and work is underway on the renovation of the current Peale Science Center. Together, these projects have cost $36 million.

Other campus development projects will evolve with the completion of the DeVos Fieldhouse and Martha Miller Center.

"This is a very exciting moment in the history of Hope College," said President James E. Bultman. "Through the generosity of many alumni and friends, Hope's position as a Christian liberal arts college will be strengthened as we strive to serve students for generations to come."

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.

The 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 fieldhouse is being named in recognition of a $7.5 million anchor gift from the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation.

Subject to final local and state governmental approvals, including the exchange of some properties between the college and the City of Holland, construction of the 102,000 square foot fieldhouse could begin in March. The construction manager for the fieldhouse project is the Dan Vos Construction Co. of Ada. The architectectural 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. In recent weeks the site has been cleared for the project.

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

Construction of the Martha Miller Center is scheduled to begin in late spring. The construction manager for the Martha Miller Center is Lakewood Construction Co. of Holland. The architectural firm is Design Plus of Grand Rapids.