At press time, the facility was on track to open in January over a weeklong celebration, held when students returned for spring semester classes. Additional special events were planned for the first week of February. Construction of the new Fieldhouse, an addition to the Powerhouse at the north end of the historic building, is underway and scheduled for completion by the end of the spring semester.
The Powerhouse is organized around the themes of recreation, wellness, and community, said Steve Robinson, executive director of the activity and recreation center, at a public information meeting held on campus in December. In his comments, Robinson called the space “Beloit’s new living room.”
Offices and programs, such as the college’s Health and Wellness program, a greatly improved swimming pool facility, and the Student Engagement and Leadership program, will take their existing programs and people to the Powerhouse, but many new spaces and programs will start up because of the integrated space. One example is the Gear Shack, a student-run outdoor recreation program with equipment and gear rentals. A café, yoga studio, game room, indoor track, 8-lane competition-ready pool, a state-of-the-art auditorium, ample spaces for socializing, extensive river views, and more are part of the 120,000 square-foot building.
The concept for this one-of-a-kind facility surfaced a decade ago, and construction began in earnest in early 2018. Designed by the award-winning, Chicago-based firm Studio Gang Architects, the project was funded entirely by gifts from donors and state and federal tax credits. In our spring edition, which circulates in May, we’ll provide coverage and photos of the spaces and activities inside Beloit’s newest building.