Ground-Breaking Celebration May 4th
The biggest building project in Calvin history will officially start on May 4 at 3 pm when the college hosts a celebratory ceremony to mark the formal beginnings of the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex.
The upcoming expansion will include a new arena, a new aquatic center, a new indoor track and tennis center and a significant renovation of the existing Calvin Fieldhouse (the latter also includes building a new student health center within the facility as part of the renovation). The first phase is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2008, and the entire project by the end of 2009.
Prizes for students
At the upcoming event Calvin students (with valid student I.D.) will be eligible for special prizes, including gift certificates for Ada Bike Shop, (compliments of Ada Bike Shop and Aspen Gold Investment Management, Inc) and a one-week vacation in Florida (also compliments of Aspen Gold Investment Management, Inc).
The event will take place in the current Calvin Fieldhouse and special guests such as Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell and MIAA commissioner Dave Neilson will participate in the program along with Calvin athletic director Nancy Meyer, college president Gaylen Byker, the Calvin Pep Band and several of the project's major donors.
One of those donors is John Spoelhof who with his wife Judy made a lead gift to the project which as a result will be called the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex.
John Spoelhof is the former president of Prince Corporation, and a longtime friend of Calvin, while Judy is a 1961 graduate of the college. They reside in Holland, Michigan.
The new arena at Calvin will be called Van Noord Arena in honor of Andrew and Gladys Van Noord. It will measure some 175,000 square feet, seat approximately 5,000 and replace the Calvin Fieldhouse, which was built in 1965, as the homecourt for the school's Division III men's and women's basketball teams and women's volleyball team.
The new aquatic center at Calvin will be named the Venema Aquatic Center in recognition of a gift from Calvin alumna Thelma Venema.
The new aquatic center which will bear her family's name will be a spectacular multi-use facility, featuring a pool 50 meters long and 25 yards wide. This Olympic-sized pool will provide Calvin significant flexibility, with a moveable bulkhead in the water to create areas that can be used for a wide variety of simultaneous activities.
The renovation of the existing Calvin Fieldhouse will be a significant effort and will create both a new health and recreation center and a new student health center within the renovated facility. The retooled fieldhouse will be renamed the Hoogenboom Health and Recreation Center. The new student health center will be named Marian Hoogenboom Health Services. Both names recognize significant financial support for the project from Terry Hoogenboom, a Goshen, Indiana-based builder and real estate developer. His wife Marian died of cancer and the connections to health and wellness are especially poignant for the Hoogenboom family.
In addition, the current on-campus student health center at Calvin, which now is housed in the basement of a residence hall, will be significantly expanded and find a new home in the renovated fieldhouse. It will increase from a 2,000 square foot facility currently to an approximately 6,000 square foot center complete with numerous exam and treatment rooms, a lab and various health center employee offices.
The other lead donor to the overall expansion project at Calvin is the Grand Rapids-based Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation.
The idea of educating students for a well-rounded life of service in God's kingdom is one that the DeVos family feels is very significant. While the names of Rich and Helen DeVos are not directly assigned to a specific component of this project, their gift is central to what these centers will mean for Calvin educationally.