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Steel For Arena to Go Up
December 7, 2007

Calvin College's Van Noord Arena will take an impressive step forward in its construction process over the next two weeks when the two main girder trusses for the arena roof are erected. On Monday, December 10 and Wednesday, December 12 the first of the two main trusses that will
span the arena steel structure from east to west will arrive on campus.

The trusses will arrive in three separate sections (two on Monday, December 10 and one on Wednesday, December 12). Each section is 70 to 80 feet long, 13 feet high, two feet wide and weighs approximately 33 tons!

The truss sections are being fabricated at Steel Supply & Engineering in Grand Rapids and will be brought to Calvin's campus via wide-load trucks which will proceed east on 28th Street, then north on the East Beltline and finally will make a special left-hand turn onto Lake Drive (they will not required to make the boulevard turn) in order to enter Calvin's campus from the north.

On Wednesday, December 12 the north end truss sections will be lifted onto temporary columns to hold them in place while the trusses are bolted together. It will take three cranes for this process, cranes that will join the two cranes already on site for the project.

The week of December 24 the process will be repeated for the main girder truss at the south end of the arena.

The Christman Company, general contractor on the project, is providing planning and coordination for this complex phase of the project, as well as management of schedule, construction budget, quality, and safety for the overall project.

The new arena at Calvin 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.

It is called Van Noord Arena in honor of Andrew and Gladys Van Noord. Andy Van Noord is a 1943 graduate of Calvin and was a a pre-engineering major (back in the era when students began at Calvin and finished at the University of Michigan as part of a transfer program). He has been a lifelong inventor who designed many automotive components, including a remote control system for fender mirrors which went on to be used by Ford Motor Company. The World War II veteran is also an inveterate entrepreneur.

Van Noord Arena is part of a $49.5 million athletic expansion -- the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex -- that in turn is part of the school's current $150 million campaign called No greater task: hearts and minds renewing God's world.

The arena, scheduled to be completed in January 2009, will be a key part of the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex which also will include the new Venema Aquatic center, a new indoor track and tennis center and a significant renovation of the existing Calvin Fieldhouse, which will be renamed the Hoogenboom Health and Recreation Center.

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