Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Fall/Winter 2012 (November 16, 2012)

College, Wisconsin Power and Light go Public with Power Plant Plans

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November 16, 2012

Power Plant SmokestackThe headline in the Oct. 12 edition of the Beloit Daily News called it a “Big Project for College.” It is big—$30 million dollars big, in fact. But the idea of turning the mothballed Blackhawk Generating Station into a campus activity and recreation center is also a big opportunity, some say.

The college, which has been investigating the possibility for more than a year with Wisconsin Power and Light officials, went public with the plans following board of trustees approval in October. In the months ahead, the college will continue to fully explore the project’s feasibility and to assess the site’s remediation needs with WPL. At the same time, the college will begin to raise the $30 million needed to start and finish the renovation of what would be a distinctive, 120,000-square-foot facility.

“If we are successful, Beloit and Beloit College will gain a landmark on the river that will celebrate the industrial history of this city while providing the college with a building that will be the envy of every small college in the country,” says President Scott Bierman. “This building powered the growth of our city and region, and we’re convinced it holds similar promise as a facility for energizing and assuring the college’s future.”

Alliant Energy CEO Pat Kampling (Alliant is the parent company of WPL) offered her own support in a press statement, saying the company was “excited to be partnering with Beloit College and working through the details of a potential agreement for the Blackhawk site.”

The college ran an on-campus study in the spring to determine the campus community’s needs and desires related to the project. Based on that work, 10 specific needs were outlined for such a building. Among the campus priorities identified: an indoor track; fitness center; a flexible, fieldhouse-style “big open space;” a lecture and movie hall seating around 150; and spaces that generally take full advantage of the river views and access the site naturally affords.

Renovated Power Plant Rendering 

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