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Beloit College reveals power plant redesign plans

planned conversion by Beloit College of a 130,000-square-foot electrical generating station into a multi-use recreational hub in Beloit, Wisc. A Chicago-based architecture firm will lead a three-year, $30 million renovation of the decommissioned coal-burning power plant. (AP Photo/©Studio Gang Architects)

A planned conversion by Beloit College of a 130,000-square-foot electrical generating station into a multi-use recreational hub in Beloit is being led by a Chicago-based architecture firm. (AP Photo/©Studio Gang Architects)

BELOIT, Wis. (AP) — Beloit College has reached a milestone in its plans to convert an electrical generating station into a recreational hub.

Design plans for the 130,000-square-foot project were revealed Wednesday. Chicago-based Studio Gang Architects Inc. will lead a three-year, $30 million renovation of the decommissioned coal-burning power plant. The finished product will feature a three-lane track, an eight-lane competition pool, a 10,000-square-foot fitness center and a 17,000-square-foot recreational gym. There will also be a coffee shop, student club rooms, lounges, a conference center, a lecture hall and a theater, according to a news release.

River walks, playing fields, eating areas and lounge spaces will be added to the outside of the renovated building. It will also have an exterior skin that acts as a radiator by using the river to heat and cool the facility.

“We’re seeking to enhance the quality of student life,” said dean of students Christina Klawitter. “We can never lose sight of who this building is for. It’s for our students.”

The college has been planning the project since 2011, according to The Janesville Gazette. The college began discussing the project with stakeholders in spring 2012, according to Klawitter.

“Many voices have been at the table throughout the course of the project,” she said.

The goal is to transform an old building that produced emissions into a sustainable place for students to interact, as well as improve their health and well-being, according to President Scott Bierman.

“We opened up this project to the community early on and said, ‘What do you want in this place?'” Bierman said.

He said believes the river walk, skylights, translucent walls and other amenities will attract visitors, making it a hot spot for students.

The building is expected to be complete in 2018.

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