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Beloit College repurposes historic building into student center

With the precipitators (huge filtration devices) removed from the face of the building, the Powerhouse at Beloit College is beginning to look more like the exterior renderings that show the decommissioned coal-fired power plant transformed into a one-of-a-kind student center. The project is now in the last steps of deconstruction. North American Dismantling Corp has been hard at work since June removing equipment, steel, and concrete. Next up, a thorough industrial cleaning, making way for the next stage of construction.

Design development for the Powerhouse concluded toward the end of 2017. Beloit’s partners at Studio Gang Architects helped hone in on what the student center will contain, such as a cafe, wellness center, and fitness space among other things, as well as where those program elements will be located. Only small refinements to the plan are expected moving forward. From the start, Beloit has remained committed to making the Powerhouse fully accessible across a variety of dimensions, including cabana style locker rooms, designed by Studio Gang Architects and Hastings+Chivetta. The locker rooms will maximize privacy for everyone.

Early this year, Beloit College took full ownership of the building, marking a major milestone in the project. Slated to open in 2019, the Powerhouse is a $38 million project that repurposes the decommissioned Blackhawk Generating Station on the Rock River into a 130,000-square-foot student center in every sense of the phrase, uniquely integrated student union, recreation center, and athletics facility, that will benefit generations of Beloit College students and the greater community. Learn more at