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Powerhouse powers up

October 28, 2016
By Susan Kasten

Powerhouse powers up

A rendering of the new Beloit Powerhouse set to open in fall of 2019.

The Powerhouse project may have seemed relatively low-key to some on campus over the past months. Behind the scenes, however, the fundraising, planning, and relationship-building required to make this project happen have been building momentum.

In fact, after a couple of major recent developments, the Powerhouse is springing to life in a substantial way and on schedule to be completed by fall 2019.An endorsement by the board of trustees to pursue state and federal historic incentives (commonly called “tax credits”), and the generosity of major donors—including the trustees who have pledged $17 million toward the $38 million project—have put the Powerhouse on the fast track. As originally planned, the Powerhouse will be funded completely by donors, with no tuition dollars going toward the project.

If tax credits come through as expected, the project will be more than 90 percent funded, and perhaps most exciting: It will be available for current first-year students to enjoy their senior year.With the Powerhouse fundraising racing quickly toward the finish line, more work needs to be done, not least of which is the process of taking the schematic design from 50 percent to 100 percent completion.

To that end, Dean of Students Christina Klawitter convened a group called “The Powerhouse Program Verification Team” for the first time last week. Working with the college community and the architects, team members will be focusing on achieving the program goals generated by feedback collected from the college community between 2012-2014.

In particular, they will be gathering additional input from campus stakeholders and translating it to designers at Studio Gang Architects.Student members of the Powerhouse team include Chrissie Clayton’19, Autumn Gant’19, Joe Peacock’17 (who’s been involved with Powerhouse planning since he was a first-year student) and Faviola Ramirez’20. Faculty and staff members include: Lindsay Chapman, sustainability coordinator, Tara Girard, Health and Wellness Center director, Yaffa Grossman, associate dean and biology professor, Jo Ortel, art history professor, Tim Schmiechen, director of athletics and recreation, Matt Tedesco, associate dean and philosophy professor, Jen Walsh, director of student engagement and leadership, and Dan Schooff, Powerhouse project manager.

New Powerhouse web pages debuted last Friday, thanks in large part to the work of Nick Mischler in Web Services and Todd Anderbyrne and Katy Phillips in Communications and Marketing.

In the coming weeks, the college will open the Powerhouse for faculty, staff, and student tours so that everyone has a chance to see the facility before construction begins. Stay tuned to the Terrarium for more Powerhouse developments and tour sign up.