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Powerhouse: Questions and Answers

April 27, 2019
By Quin Brunner'21
Render of the completed Powerhouse viewed from over the river, the Beloit campus in the background.

When will the Powerhouse open?

As proclaimed by the banner hanging on Pleasant Street, the Powerhouse will open in Fall of 2019 (barring major unforeseen complications). This opening will include the student union portion of the building and the pool but not the field house or fourth-floor conference center. See the full timeline below:

Building Open

The following should be ready in mid-October.

  • Bridge from campus
    • 110ft, open air with roof
    • Near Aldrich Field, entering on the third floor of Powerhouse
  • Student Union
    • Weissberg Auditorium: 164-seat, full A/V
    • Basement lounge: free billiards, ping pong, PacMan, video games
    • Batting cages
    • Outdoor rec gear checkout
    • 24/7 vending machine convenience store
    • Riverside conference room
    • Study space
    • Riverside lounge: soft seating, potential stage, pool viewing area
    • Turbine hall: healthy eating cafe, gas-powered fireplace, lounge space galore
    • Health & Wellness Center and Counseling Center
    • Reservable yoga / dance studio
    • Reservable student club space
    • Mid-level rooftop deck
    • Fitness floor: treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, ergs, some weights (heavy weights will be housed in the sports center), group fitness spaces
  • Walk / Running Track
    • Three lanes, 175m, mondo surface
    • Visible from the field house, turbine hall, tribune lounge, and is accessed through the fitness floor
  • Pool
    • Eight-lane competition pool, 25yds, converts to 10 lane recreation swim
    • One and three meter diving boards
    • ADA Ramp
    • Spectator seating
Additional Area

The following should be ready in November-December. 

  • Turf Field House
    • Practice facility for turf sports, 140' X 120'
    • Only ACM / Midwest Conference school with indoor turf
  • Rooftop Meeting Rooms
    • 7,000 sq. ft fourth-floor divisible meeting rooms
    • Rooftop deck

The completion date of the Riverwalk is not yet set-in-stone. This element will wrap around the west side of the building, offering direct access to the river from the building and connecting two legs of the city's bike/walk trail system. The college has partnered with the city of Beloit to build the Riverwalk, requiring additional coordination, but it will likely be completed in mid-2020. More information will be provided as this part of the project progresses.

How is the Powerhouse project funded?

The Powerhouse is fully funded through tax credits and private donations. This means no tuition dollars have gone into construction and the project is creating no new debt. You've heard this before, but what does it actually mean?

Funding Source Amount
Board of Trustees $17,000,000
Donations from Alumni and Friends of the College $11,000,000
Federal Historic Tax Credits, State Historic Tax Credits, and Federal New Market Tax Credits $10,000,000
Total $38,000,000

Is the Powerhouse just for athletes?

Not at all! The Powerhouse is designed to be a space that facilitates the interaction of students who might not normally cross paths. There is something for everyone in the Powerhouse [see table above] and every student has a number of good reasons to enter the space -- practice, a meal, studying with a friend, studying alone, a club meeting, visiting the Health and Wellness Center, or attending one of the bajillion programs hosted in the space.

The plan is that breaking spaces and services out of their existing silos and relocating them under one roof will encourage students who enter the building for one reason to stay for another. Further, by encouraging students to branch beyond their familiar social circles, this space will facilitate connection between a wide array of student groups.

The Powerhouse

The Powerhouse repurposes the decommissioned Blackhawk Generating Station on the Rock River into a 120,000-square-foot student center in every sense of the phrase. The Powerhouse will be a first-of-its-kind facility in the country—one that interlaces student life spaces with recreational facilities, further connects campus with the community, and preserves history while looking to the future.