A Citadel icon for 79 years soon will be nothing
more than a pile of rubble.
Demolition crews began knocking down Padgett-Thomas
Barracks on Thursday, May
24. Over the next several weeks the walls of the
oldest of cadet housing quarters will continue to crumble and
fall. Once state funding is secured, construction will begin on
a $27 million replacement building.
"This structure, which is so familiar within The
Citadel family, is about to come down. It's both a sad day and
a happy day," Citadel President Maj. Gen. John S. Grinalds told
reporters and a few dozen summer school students who gathered
in front of Second Battalion to watch the demolition begin.
Architect John Gardner
(right) and Glen Schambeau, contractor, remove the seal on
PT for safe keeping.
"We're glad to see the old PT go only because we
know a new PT is coming." The new barracks will be safer for students
and in hurricanes, will meet building codes and last for 100 years,
Padgett-Thomas Barracks was built in 1922. It was
the first building constructed on the banks of the Ashley River
after The Citadel moved from its original location on Marion Square
in downtown Charleston. PT Barracks, the largest of five barracks
on campus, became the pattern for all future construction on campus
and is the building most often associated with the military college.
Before it closed in August 2000, Padgett-Thomas
Barracks housed up to 562 male and female cadets assigned to the
regimental staff, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf and Hotel companies and
the Regimental Band.
Some former residents included Charleston Mayor
Joseph P. Riley Jr., '64; Commandant of Cadets Brig. Gen. Emory
Mace, '63; and University of South Carolina President John Palms,
PT Barracks was closed because of its significant
structural problems. Despite extensive renovations, The Citadel
believes there was no way to fully restore the barracks and still
meet all safety and building codes mandated by the state. The
new building will be slightly larger than the existing barracks
to meet international building codes, but it will look virtually
the same as the building that stood at the center of campus for
The Citadel has been promised $11 million in state
funding so far. Another $16 million is needed before construction
can begin. It is unclear if there will be a state bond bill this
year, which as earlier proposed includes $13.5 million for the
State law requires that the college have 100 percent
funding before construction can start. The new Padgett-Thomas
Barracks is tentatively slated to open for the 2004 academic year.
For more information, contact
Public Information Coordinator