Construction to start June 1 on new Padgett-Thomas Barracks
The Citadel broke ground today on a $27 million building project that will return Padgett-Thomas Barracks to its previous glory.
Construction is expected to begin June 1 on the new barracks. The original building, which opened in 1922 when the college moved from Marion Square, was closed in 2000 after being deemed structurally unsafe. The building was razed in 2001.
The project will be paid for with $11 million in state funds and $15 million in federal funds. The remaining $1 million is expected to come from state bond bills between now and 2004 when construction will be completed.
Turning the soil at the construction site today were South Carolina Comptroller General James A. Lander, United States Senators Ernest Hollings of South Carolina and Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, Leonard Fulghum, chairman of The Citadel Board of Visitors; Citadel President Major General John S. Grinalds, 2002 Regimental Commander Cadet Colonel. Bobby Cox, Alumni Association President Ernest Long and Emmett Davis of Davis & Floyd Architects.
"We are eager to move forward with the construction of Padgett-Thomas," Grinalds said. "With the growing interest in The Citadel and our military style of education, we need PT Barracks to help us educate more young men and women to become America's next generation of leaders."
Lander said it's fitting that the state play a part in rebuilding PT Barracks because of the leadership training that takes place at The Citadel.
"One only has to look at the military and political leaders, the business executives, the doctors, lawyers, teachers and ministers and those Citadel graduates in many other careers to know that the leadership training that has taken place in Padgett-Thomas Barracks and in other barracks produces young men and women who contribute greatly to society," Lander said.
One such leader is Hollings, who lived in PT Barracks before graduating in 1942.
Hollings credited Inouye, chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, with securing funding for the PT replacement project.
"The Citadel has no better friend than Danny Inouye," Hollings said. "He appropriated $15 million for the Padgett-Thomas Barracks - barracks that will attract the best of the best the next generation of leadersmen and women who love their countrywho will defend our soil...who will take their place in our war on terrorism."
Fulghum, who retires this year after 25 years on The Citadel Board of Visitors, said it was sad to see the barracks demolished last summer.
"We always knew that PT Barracks would return, however, we thought it might take many years to raise the money," he said. "On behalf of The Citadel family, I give my heartfelt thanks to Senator Hollings, Senator Inouye and Mr. Lander for helping make this groundbreaking possible today."
The barracks are expected to open in time for the 2004-2005 academic year.
Following the groundbreaking ceremony, Sen. Inouye laid a wreath at the gravesite of Gen. Mark W. Clark, former president of The Citadel and commander of the Fifth Army where Senator Inouye served during World War II. He also was presented with an honorary Doctor of Public Administration degree during the Corps of Cadets parade.