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Hammock park included in Hope College's plans for new student housing

By Amy Biolchini/The Holland Sentinel • Jun 1, 2016 at 3:00 PM

HOLLAND — A special place for students to hang their hammocks is included in Hope College’s plans for its latest expansion of student housing on 11th Street between Lincoln and Fairbanks in Holland.

“We see this as an opportunity to provide better housing and take less attractive options off our rolls,” said the college’s director of operations, Greg Maybury.

The project will continue the college’s six-building Cook Village development to the west with six new buildings of a slightly smaller scale.

Overall, the Cook Village expansion has slightly more than 50 beds. The first phase of Cook Village, which opened in 2013, has 60 beds split equally between six buildings — so 10 students per unit.

“We found that size wasn’t what we wanted,” Maybury said.

The new units will house 6-8 students apiece, with three- and four-bedroom units and three bathrooms. They will feature main-level living rooms, guest bathrooms and study space — and will be used mostly for upperclass students, Maybury said.

“All the new units will be accessible and wheelchair-friendly, and some are fully ADA living units,” Maybury said.

Special to the project are three outdoor areas designed for hammock use by residents, where pressure-treated wooden posts will be buried in the ground for students to hang hammocks between them.

New landscaping is also planned for the site — with a 5-foot-wide path that will connect the rear yards of all of the units to a parking lot area off 12th Street and to some communal outdoor spaces. Two small pergolas and one large pergola are planned, as well as new trees.

Maybury said the college is moving to a more sustainable student enrollment of about 3,200 students — down from 3,400 the college reached in one of several record-breaking years in the recent past.

“We’re moving slowly, but deliberately,” Maybury said of the college’s movement to add more student housing.

On the east end of the 11th Street block between Lincoln and Fairbanks, the college is planning a 90-space, porous asphalt parking lot for event overflow parking.

Plans for the new Hope residences were unveiled this month as a part of the city’s review of a rezoning request for the 11th Street property, that is up for a final reading by City Council today.

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