New Law Barracks set to welcome cadets back to campus
When the Corps of Cadets returns to campus this month, there’s going to be a whole lot of movin’ and shakin’ going on.
That’s because cadets from India, Lima, Mike and Kilo companies are moving out of Stevens Barracks and into a brand new Law Barracks on Jan. 8. Third Battalion is the last of the barracks to be rebuilt. The barracks rebuilding program began in 1996.
Originally built in 1939, Law Barracks was closed in 2004 and demolished in 2005. When Law Barracks opened in 1939 the fact that it had hot and cold running water, individual clothing cabinets and stationary beds in all the rooms was important news for faculty, staff and cadets.
Law Barracks is named for Evander M. Law, Class of 1856, a major general in the Confederate Army. He was instrumental in establishing the Florida educational system after the Civil War.
In 2007, what’s important is the new Law Barracks will be wired for Internet and will have air conditioning as all the other barracks do. Stevens Barracks is not air conditioned.
Cadet Lt. Col. David Liberti is preparing for the move with a bit of melancholy.
“I for one like the old barracks better than the new ones,” the Third Battalion commander said.
Liberti lived in Padgett Thomas Barracks after it was rebuilt in 2004. It’s a different atmosphere, he said. He spent the fall semester in Stevens.
“In Stevens and old Law Barracks we don't have A/C, and as a result our doors are always open and it makes for a more interactive community,” he said. “Also, second semester in the old barracks is the best because you don't have to worry about sweating to death while you sleep.
There’s also something nostalgic about the old barracks, he said.
“The old barracks are darker at night and the rooms feel old. It makes you feel like you have a connection to the past and a connection to alumni, especially when they come in on the big weekends and say to their guests ‘This is what my barracks looked like’ even if they weren't from Third,” Liberti said.
The Class of 2007 has a connection to Law Barracks.
“It is there that we started our journey as knobs,” Liberti said. “So it is fitting that we'll end there, although it will be a bit different from before.”
Law Barracks demolition and construction took about two years to complete and cost about $23 million. The construction was paid for with revenue bonds and barracks reserves.
The new Law Barracks has 195 two-person person rooms and 16 four-person rooms along with a large computer lab, offices for tactical officers and 18 latrines, compared with nine in the old Law Barracks.
Among the college's other cadet housing facilities, Murray Barracks was built in 1926 and demolished and replaced in 1999. Padgett-Thomas Barracks, the first building constructed when the college moved from Marion Square in downtown Charleston in 1922, was demolished in 2001 and reopened in 2004. Watts Barracks was the first new barracks constructed in 1996.
Stevens Barracks, which was built in 1942, will be used to house Palmetto Battery and will serve as overflow housing at the beginning of each school year. Planning is under way for a facility that will replace Stevens Barracks in the next five to 10 years. The specific design and location of the new facility has not been determined.
At the end of the fall semester, Third Battalion cadets completed their exams and then packed their rooms. The Corps returns from furlough Jan. 7. Moving day is Jan. 8. It’s going to be an all-day affair, but one that everyone is looking forward to, said Col. Frank Shealy, Third Battalion tactical officer.
“Stevens…has been home to many, many cadets throughout the years and they continue to think of it as home,” Shealy said. “The current cadets have made many memories here and for some the move is a bit bitter sweet.
As the fall semester drew to a close, crews were installing furniture and taking care of last minute construction issues. Trees will be planted in January.
“The new Law Barracks is definitely nice, and clean, and that will take a bit of adjusting,” Shealy said. “We look forward to living in a place we can be proud of and starting new memories back in our new old home.”
Ellis Don, contractor, built Law Barracks. The firm also built Padgett-Thomas Barracks and took lessons learned in that project to the Law construction, coming in a bit ahead of schedule. That enabled the Corps to move at the beginning of the semester, rather than in the middle.
Others who worked on the Law Barracks project included Construction Manager Mac Nigels, Class of ’55, who passed away in October; Summerville Mechanical, Martin Electric, Palmetto Pile Driving, Control Management Inc., Providence Paint, PrezChem, Worsham Sprinkler, Simplex- Grinnell, B&C Utilities and Carolina Acoustic & Drywall.
About The Citadel's Barracks
|PT Barracks (2nd)||560||112,335||2004 (orig. 1922)|
|Law Barracks (3rd)||454||61,350||2007 (orig. 1939)|
|Murray Barracks (1st)||458||61,350||1999 (orig.1926)|
|Watts Barracks (4th)||468||61,350||1996|
** Gross square footage does not include gallery and quad.