- Associated Press - Friday, February 5, 2016

HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) - Hope College’s new $35 million Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts includes an 800-seat concert hall, a recital hall with seating for up to 125, rehearsal rooms and a dedicated organ studio.

The school is inaugurating the concert hall on Friday and Saturday night with more than 100 students performing during its 28th annual Musical Showcase. Much of the 64,000-square-foot Center for Musical Arts opened for the start of the school year in August.

The Center for Musical Arts and the school’s $7 million Kruizenga Art Museum were built without the use of tuition money, school President John Knapp said, and they’ll be supported by an endowment equal to 25 percent of their construction cost.

“These buildings were completed with no debt,” said Knapp told The Grand Rapids Press.

The Center for Musical Arts was built with 65-foot tall precast concrete panels weighing more than 80,000 pounds each. The building was designed to isolate sound and vibration from musical activities within the building and from adjacent railroad tracks.

Knapp said the college’s “Greater Hope” fundraising drive that began in 2007 raised $203 million, topping the $175 million goal established in October 2011. The campaign began in 2007.

The Musical Showcase was previously held at DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, but has been moved to the campus to herald the new venue. Students take the stage for the fast-paced, musical event during which audience members hear a variety of musical performances.

Organist David Heinze is scheduled to give the first performance on Hope College’s new Casavant Freres organ during the Musical Showcase, The Holland Sentinel reported. The Center for Musical Arts replaces the college’s former Nykerk Hall of Music, which was razed.




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