Powerhouse project kicks off on Friday

For Stateline Business

BELOIT — All interests in Beloit College’s Powerhouse project will be recognized at a ceremony Friday, signaling the start of work on one of Beloit’s foremost public-private partnerships.
The project will revamp the former Alliant Energy plant on Riverside Drive, with a price tag of $38 million. Work is expected to pick up in earnest this month following Friday’s
A groundbreaking will be held at Aldrich Field on campus, where Alliant CEO Patricia Kampling and Beloit College President Scott Bierman, among other officials, will preside.
The Powerhouse plan will turn the former energy plant into a sustainable, student union and recreation center. The project, once finished, also will host community events.
College officials said project is scheduled to be completed in the 2019-2020 school year.
The school will integrate the project into its marketing and recruitment efforts next year, according to Dan Schooff, the chief of staff and secretary at Beloit College.
Officials speculated a weekday farmers market or live entertainment events, among other options, could take place at the space.
All funds for the project were privately raised, including grants and tax credits, with no tuition dollars going toward the project.
The city will contribute $1.51 million for its 800-foot riverwalk behind the future campus center. The city will seek bids for the riverwalk and work is scheduled to begin in 2018.
City planning staff said there also are talks of a possible pedestrian bridge above the street being installed in the area to connect campus and the former plant over Riverside Drive.
Plans for the revitalization started in 2012, with Beloit College setting a three-year funding goal in 2014.
The ceremony will be held from 2:30-4 p.m. Friday.