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Powerhouse events, tours planned

December 2, 2016
By Susan Kasten
the powerhouse

A couple of Powerhouse events are scheduled over the next two weeks as the project to integrate Beloit’s student union and recreation center needs—and to locate them in the decommissioned Blackhawk power plant—gains momentum. The Terrarium reported in October that successful fundraising, combined with state and federal historic incentives filed last week, have moved the Powerhouse project from a vision to a near certainty. If the incentives, which were filed last week, are obtained as expected, the $38 million project will move to the final phase of fundraising (with no tuition dollars directed toward the project). Construction is scheduled to begin in 2018, with an expected opening date in the fall of 2019.  


As schematic designs are being completed, a group of faculty, staff, and students are working to make sure that feedback collected from the community in previous years is addressed and conveyed to Studio Gang Architects. The group, called the Powerhouse Program Verification Team, is also seeking additional feedback from the college community.  Anyone may submit a question or make a suggestion by using this form.

To that end, Powerhouse team members will host a Pop-Up Powerhouse conversation in the Visitors Center of Middle College, Thursday, Dec. 8, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Members of the team will be on hand to informally take and answer questions, discuss facets of the project, and collect additional feedback. Plans for the building will be on display, along with a slideshow of historic photos and shots of the building’s soaring interior spaces with its vintage power-generating equipment. Those who attend will be able to submit ideas and questions about planned spaces and usage, and they’ll have a chance to sign up for tours planned for Dec. 16.

Everyone is invited to stop by. Hot chocolate and snacks will be served.  


Tours of the Powerhouse will be held all day on the hour on Friday, Dec. 16, mainly for staff and faculty, but everyone is welcome to sign up for a tour by stopping by the open house on Dec. 8 or by or signing up here. More opportunities to take tours and share feedback will occur in the early weeks of the spring semester. 

Powerhouse team members are students Chrissie Clayton’19, Autumn Gant’19, Joe Peacock’17, 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, Beth Monteiro, vice president of development and alumni relations, 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, Christina Klawitter, dean of students, and Dan Schooff, Powerhouse project manager.