Whitney Helm
February 13, 2020

The Powerhouse: Beloit’s Student Union

The Powerhouse is a first-of-its-kind facility that interlaces student life spaces with recreational facilities. It connects campus with community while providing the college’s first site on the Rock River.
  • The Powerhouse, Beloit’s new student union is bustling with activity, including battling cages, a cafe, and study rooms.
    Yusuke Hatano’20

The most forward looking building in the world is now open.

The Powerhouse, Beloit College’s integrated student union, recreation center, and athletics facility that repurposes a decommissioned, riverside power plant, was celebrated with a special dinner for donors, a dedication, and a party in the space on Friday, Feb. 7. The previous day, students came into the building en masse for the first time, entering in a long line that snaked along the sidewalk toward the Science Center. For the formal dedication, President Scott Bierman and Chair of the Board Dick Niemiec flipped a switch to light up the Powerhouse instead of the standard ribbon cutting. The switch triggered a pyrotechnics show that “lit up” a stage in the Powerhouse to officially open the building.

Nearly a decade in the making, the Powerhouse was awarded the top overall prize among the World Architecture Festival’s 2018 Future Projects. The building designed by world-renowned architects at StudioGang, hosted hundreds of people during a public open house on Saturday.

The former Blackhawk Generating Station was the first power plant to be closed by Alliant Energy and also the first to be repurposed, according to Pat Kampling, former Alliant CEO.

The Powerhouse features:

  • Collaborative meeting rooms/seminar rooms/work tables
  • Informal gathering spaces, nooks, hang-out space
  • Indoor running/walking track
  • Signature lecture hall/theater for presentations/films/receptions
  • Competitive pool
  • Hamilton’s Café
  • Soon-to-come Fieldhouse with artificial turf floor
  • Conference center
  • Multiple fitness spaces
  • Outdoor decks over the Rock River
  • Health & Wellness Center
  • Soon-to-come Riverwalk

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read our Web Privacy Policy for more information.

Got it! ×