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Hope College to build $35 million music building

4:59 PM, Jun 14, 2013   |    comments
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HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- Hope College is adding a $ 35 million dollar facility to its campus in Holland. The Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts is named after the man who donated money to make it happen.

The 64,000 square foot facility will be built on a plot of grassy land, on Columbia Avenue. It will include an 800 seat concert hall, with a main floor and balcony.

"There's never been a hall dedicated strictly to music in the greater west Michigan area," says Mark DeWitt, a spokesman for Hope College.

The Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts is named after the man who donated money to make it possible. Miller was former president of the Howard Miller company.

"Dad went to Hope College and we've had a long relationship with Hope and second, dad has had a long love of arts," says Meg Miller Willit, Jack Miller's daughter.

Hope College already creates hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for the local area and into the millions counting the surrounding communities.

"There's lots of ways we've encouraged people to come to the downtown area and this is one more venue," says Tim Vagle, Finance Director for the city of Holland.

City leaders say the music center near downtown is not only a geographic advantage, but also a seasonal one because it gives a financial boost during the slower winter months.

"In the summer there's lots of beach traffic, folks visiting here to see Lake Michigan, in the winter months Hope College provides lots of activities and this will provide even more activities for the folks," says Vagle.

Groundbreaking could begin as early as October. The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2015.

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