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Student Power
Studio Gang to revamp energy plant for liberal arts college in Wisconsin.
Alliant Energy's Blackhawk Generating Station is flanked (left, background) by Beloit College's Aldrich Residence Hall and (right) its Center for the Sciences. The cupola of the college's Middle College administration building is visible to the far right.
Trevor Johnson

Studio Gang will help Beloit College convert a power plant into a new campus center, the southern Wisconsin college announced Tuesday.

Gang will rehab utility Alliant Energy’s Blackhawk Generating Station, which currently sits adjacent to the college’s Aldrich Residence Hall and its Center for the Sciences. The natural-gas fired powerhouse stopped generating electricity in September 2005.

Beloit still needs to raise the $30 million necessary for the project. The board approved hiring Studio Gang over the weekend, so no design concept is available yet. But the college’s campus-wide programming study says several spaces are needed somewhere on campus, including a competition-grade swimming pool and 150-seat auditorium.

If the project goes forward, Blackhawk Generating Station won’t be the first power plant to find new life. Chicago’s Fisk and Crawford coal plants loom vacant over 132 acres on the city’s southwest side; redevelopment plans are wending their way through a community review process overseen by the city. On New York’s Hudson River, developer Ron Shemesh has plans to revamp the Glenwood Power Plant site.

Chris Bentley