Readiness Center would boost stadium project
A $10.3 million appropriation for the South Carolina National Guard Readiness Center would give a major boost to The Citadel’s plans to build a new stadium.
Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint announced the readiness center as part of a $79 million appropriation for military construction projects throughout South Carolina. If signed into law by President Bush, the readiness center would be located on The Citadel campus at Johnson Hagood Stadium. It would serve as headquarters of the 218th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) and become an emergency operations center during hurricanes or floods.
The center will provide training, office and storage areas for the South Carolina National Guard. The Citadel plans to add $15 million to the project to integrate a new stadium complex into that facility. Both the South Carolina National Guard and the college would share common space such as classrooms and conference areas.
“This is a win-win situation for everyone,” said Billy Jenkinson, chairman of The Citadel Board of Visitors. “The Citadel is proud to be partnering with the South Carolina National Guard in a project that will help the guard and will also move the stadium forward.”
Included in The Citadel’s part of the project are a press box, club seats, suites and concession areas. Those will be joined with the new west side stands that are slated for completion next fall.
“We are most appreciative of the South Carolina congressional delegation and especially to Senator Lindsey Graham for his willingness to meet with us and make this a priority,” said Tommy McQueeney, an alumnus who has been instrumental in working for a new stadium.
“This combined project enhances the South Carolina National Guard, The Citadel, and ultimately the Charleston community. As an added bonus, our new stadium will be the very best in the Southern Conference and likely the best of its size anywhere in the country.”
The readiness center would be the second campus facility shared by the National Guard and the college. Construction is nearly complete on a new marksmanship center that will be used by the National Guard, cadets and law enforcement agencies.“By joining two natural partners in one project, everyone benefits,” said Maj. Gen. Roger C. Poole, interim president of The Citadel. “The South Carolina National Guard will gain a valuable resource for training and mobilization while The Citadel will be able to move forward with vital stadium improvements.”