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Citadel News Service

Office of Public Affairs

For immediate release
May 25, 2001

The walls come tumbling down

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, Grinalds said.

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, '58.

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 79 years.

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 project.

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
Charlene Gunnells
Public Information Coordinator

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