Beloit’s vision for the Powerhouse is to create a unique building in higher education—a combined student union, recreation, and athletic center that allows the community to move from one part of their Beloit experience to another, rather than compartmentalizing spaces.
The entire Powerhouse is meant to amplify what we do so well: teach and learn in and out of the classroom, interact with the community and world, and lean on each other—students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members,” says Dan Schooff, chief of staff and secretary of the college, who has guided the project since 2012. “Doing this in a repurposed power plant with the new design being called out as ‘best in the world’ is just a bonus.”
As this magazine went to press, Schooff reported that workers in Alexandria, Minn., were finishing the bridge that will connect the Powerhouse to campus. Spanning from the grassy area north of the Flood Arena parking lot, the bridge will go straight into the building without steps or ramps. The entrance is on the third floor, where stairs are located and an elevator makes the building 100 percent ADA accessible. By the time this magazine reaches your mailbox, the Powerhouse bridge will already be installed across Highway 51, and the bowl for the 165 seat auditorium will be completed. This signature space will host lectures, such as the Weissberg residency, football team game films, and everything in between. Portions of the Powerhouse will open in mid-October.