Built in 1900 and known as "The Powerhouse" through the 1920's since it contained coal-fired boilers, the name was used in the Holyoke area to describe steam/electric generation plants although the college lacked the ability to generate electricity. There was a major conversion to oil-fired boilers in 1934 with installation of 120 General Electric burners/boilers in 24 groups. By that time, the building was known as "The Heating Plant". There was another major addition to The Heating Plant in 1939 to provide added capacity to handle the demands of Abbey Hall which was just completed. This addition is the concrete section facing Pageant Field.
Various shops were located in the areas now occupied by Campus Police, Mail Services, and the Cable, Card and Telephone Services office.
On December 11, 1977 a major fire shut down the plant but with an around the clock effort enough boilers were re-fired to get the college through the crisis. The Central Heating Plant is now a modern, efficient operation using gas or oil as a fuel.