Calvin University constructing design hub

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The design hub will include an open classroom for graphic design, studios for Bachelor of Fine Arts students, breakout rooms for business student groups and social spaces for students interested in working creatively. Rendering courtesy Calvin University

Calvin University announced it is renovating the Spoelhof Center into a state-of-the-art design hub that will bring students together from a variety of majors.

The 6,000-square-foot renovation project is set to begin this month. The space will anchor Calvin’s newly revised graphic design program. The design hub will include an open classroom for graphic design, studios for Bachelor of Fine Arts students, breakout rooms for business student groups and social spaces for students interested in working creatively, from theatrical performances to robotic competitions.

“The design hub will offer Calvin students space to imagine — to identify challenges and to test creative solutions to those challenges,” said Dr. Elizabeth Vander Lei, academic dean at Calvin University. “Given the complexity of current challenges, these creative solutions depend on insights from across the liberal arts and sciences, as well as expertise from professional programs. The design hub brings students from all these areas together in a collaborative space.”

The idea for this project was sparked in fall 2015 when a group of arts faculty and staff began to consider how the physical campus could support the arts by encouraging collaboration among the various arts on campus and between the arts and other programs, like business and engineering.

The capital campaign officially kicked off in 2016, and design and planning have been underway for 18 months.

The space also will serve as a home to the Artist Collaborative program, which brings students together from a wide array of majors, including engineering and marketing.

EV Construction in Holland is providing construction management services for the project, and architecture is through GMB Architecture + Engineering.

“We are honored to be partnering with Calvin University on this exceptional new opportunity for their student and faculty community,” EV President and CEO Mike Novakoski said. “Our team of professionals excels in building highly complex environments in occupied spaces and is excited to breathe new life into the Spoelhof Center.”

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