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Tax credits help Powerhouse near funding goal

March 25, 2017
By Will Tomer'17

Beloit College has been approved for the Federal Historic Tax Credit and a Historic Preservation Tax Credit by the state of Wisconsin, both of which will be applied to the college’s Powerhouse project. According to Dan Schooff, chief of staff and secretary of Beloit College, the two tax credits will fund approximately $10 million of the $38 million project.

Beloit applied for both of these credits in November 2016, and were approved on March 21. In return for the money, the federal government and the state of Wisconsin will require that the college maintain key elements of the original structure. “All along, we were planning to preserve the historic character of the building,” says Schooff.

Schooff said that a vital element of the Powerhouse’s design was a fusion between modern amenities and comfort, and the original industrial style of a power plant. As a part of these tax credits, the college will be restoring the exterior bricks, helping to retain the building’s unique aesthetic quality.

Beloit College and the City of Beloit had already received $1 million for the project from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to fund an extension of the Rock River riverwalk. The college is also pursuing funding through the New Markets Tax Credit, a federal program that incentivizes business and real estate investment in burgeoning economic markets. The process for securing  that funding is still pending.

The Powerhouse project has already accumulated more than $26 million in donations from over 200 donors, meaning the project is nearing its funding goal without ever dipping into money raised by tuition.

“It’s always been the goal of the trustees to fund this project without the use of tuition dollars,” says Schooff. “With these tax credits, we should be able to achieve that.”