CHARLESTON, S.C., Oct. 14.--Sledgehammers began tearing down Murray Barracks on The Citadel's campus today as the systematic demolition of the college's four barracks began.
Formal demolition of the 70-year old building began at 1 p.m. when the interim president, Brig. Gen. R. Clifton Poole, and the commandant of cadets, Col. Joseph W. Trez, swung sledgehammers at the aging structure. Both graduates of The Citadel resided in Murray Barracks during their cadet years in the 1950s and 1960s, respectively. Later General Poole ceremoniously aimed a wrecking ball at the edifice.
Murray Barracks, also known as First Battalion, is being razed and rebuilt in yet one more step of the Barracks Rebuilding Project at the military college which is expected to take a number of years.
Murray Barracks was the second barracks built when The Citadel moved from Marion Square in 1922. The structure covered 88,000 square feet and had housed 500 of the 1,900 cadets up until last Spring. The building was named for its benefactor, Andrew Buist Murray--a wealthy Charleston philanthropist for whom Murray Boulevard at nearby Hampton Park is named. The infirmary on The Citadel campus is named for his wife, Mary Bennett Murray.
The Citadel's Board of Visitors determined several years ago that it would be less costly to replace, rather than renovate, the existing buildings that house the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. The first step in the process was the construction of a new dining hall in 1991. That was followed by the construction of a new barracks on the site that will be dedicated later this month in honor of immediate past president, Lt. Gen. Claudius E. Watts III.