The College Power Plant is located behind Taliaferro Hall. A committee was appointed by the College of William and Mary to hire an architect in 1910 to draw up plans and specifications for a lighting and heating plant. The plans were submitted in 1911 and the College accepted a bid from R.H. Richardson and Son for $5,666 to construct a brick power house and chimney with stone window sills. Smith Courtney Co. of Richmond was contracted to provide engines and electrical equipment for the plant. The Power Plant was completed in 1911 and was built on the College Hotel Grounds.
The Flat Hat, the College newspaper, gave the following description of the Power Plant in an article printer on October 10, 1911: "brick structure with stone trimmings, 42 feet by 70 feet, chimney 90 feet. Two boilers; two 75 horsepower engines by Harisburg Foundry and Machine Works, Harrisburg, PA. Westinghouse generators, 50 KW; pump room, coal storage room, bolier room, engine room."
A large addition was added to the Power Plant and another boiler was installed in 1922. In 1923, a new power unit was in operation, along with a 192-foot stack. The Babcock and Wilcox water tube boilers in the old power plant were no longer being used because the new plant was able to handle all energy needs at the time.
The Power Plant was enlarged once more and almost doubled in size in 1929 at a cost of $522,000. A new 250 horsepower boiler was installed along with automatic stokers. A contract was given to Bickelhaupt, Inc., of Richmond to install a new boiler and make improvements at a cost of $24,000.
1952--new plant to be built. $350,000 appropriated, construction to start in April (BofV, Feb. 9, 1952, p. 280) • Major units of mechanical equipment purchased, general contract entered with W.T. Clark and Co. for erection of structure, est. cost $399,000. (BofV, May 31, 1952, p. 339) • under construction (BofV, Sept. 13, 1952, p. 363) 1953--part of old power plant to be used for hobby shop, to open in fall. Kiln for ceramics, tools for leather, medal and wood work, tools and space for scenery construction for W&M Theatre (FH, 2/17/1953, 11) • new power plant, located behind cafeteria, to be completed by June 30. To burn fuel oil. Old coal-burning plant to be used as stand-by (FH, 3/10/1953, 4) • to be completed by October 1 (FH, 9/15/1953, 12) 1954--south wall of old power plant destroyed by Hurricane Hazel, October 1954 (FH, 11/21954, 3) c. 1956--boiler removed from old power plant, stacks taken down (BofV, Jan. 5, 1957, p. 330) 1976--prepared for use as ceramics studio by Fine Arts Department (WMN, 11/23/1976, 4; WMN, 3/22/1977, 4)