Demolition portion of Capers Hall Replacement Project is underway at The Citadel

Demolition kick-off marks Class of ’21 construction engineering grad’s first day on the job with firm

The demolition portion of The Citadel’s $67 million Capers Hall Replacement Project is underway. The college’s facilities and engineering team, and representatives from the primary contractor, Thompson Turner, gathered to watch as a “pulverizer” began chewing away at the south wall of the 1970s wing.

It is likely that every cadet passing through The Citadel for the last 69 years took classes in Capers Hall, as that is where many of the General Education courses were provided. The 75,116-square-foot building housed The Citadel School of Humanities and Social Sciences, which includes seven departments.

The Dean for the SHSS, Brian Madison Jones, Ph.D., was at the construction site as demolition got underway.

Dr. Brian Madison Jones, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, watches as the first stage of Capers Hall’s demolition takes place at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Tuesday, June 8, 2021.

“It’s an extraordinary, important and exciting day not just for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, but for all cadets, students, faculty and staff at The Citadel,” said Jones. “Our new facility will be advancing our mission of educating principled leaders in a larger, technology-packed, contemporary building. It will also serve as a resource for the Charleston community.”

The architectural design, provided by Woolpert, will align with the iconic design elements of other campus structures, incorporating both traditional and transitional elements in a three-story, 107,700-square-foot facility.

Some of the new Capers Hall features will include:

  • Modern, flexible classrooms with advanced teaching technology
  • Two Active Learning classrooms
  • Center for Cyber, Intelligence, and Security Studies, with a Secure Work Area, a Cyber Lab and Cyber Range, and a National Security Classroom
  • Center for Inclusive Excellence
  • Center for International and Special Programs
  • 250-seat performing arts auditorium
  • Digital media lab
  • Art studio
  • Art gallery
  • Designated Legal Studies classroom 
  • Psychology lab interview rooms
  • Oral History interview and listening rooms
  • Collaborative work spaces
  • Computer classrooms
Jeff Lamberson, Vice President for The Citadel Department of Facilities and Engineering, oversees the first stage of Capers Hall’s demolition on Tuesday, June 8, 2021.

The plan is to reuse, or recycle as many parts of the old building as possible, according to The Citadel Vice President of Facilities and Engineering, Jeff Lamberson.

“We are having the concrete, masonry and stucco material recovered from the demolition, crushed and recycled so that we can use it to build the new site foundation and parking area,” Lamberson said. “The metal from the old facility will also be recycled. There are also some distinctive lights and ironwork features that will be repurposed.”

Some of the benefits to the neighborhood outside of campus include the burying of utility lines and improvements to address road flooding.

The Departments of Criminal Justice; Intelligence and Security Studies; English, Fine Arts, and Communications; History; Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures; Political Science; and Psychology will all be housed in the new building when it is complete in approximately two years.

The South Carolina General Assembly provided $15 million to assist with the replacement project.

First day on the job for a 2021 grad; three other Citadel men also on the project

New Thompson Turner engineer, and Citadel Class of 2021 Construction Engineering graduate, Keegan Sherman, watches as the first stage of Capers Hall’s demolition takes place on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. He will be working on the project with two other Citadel alumni, and a current senior cadet who is interning with the firm.

Keegan Sherman was all smiles as he met with his new Thompson Turner colleagues to watch the beginning of the Capers Hall Replacement Project.

Sherman took a few classes inside the building known for its mid-century “government green” tile stairwells and hallways. The newly graduated engineer didn’t anticipate being a part of the construction firm that would construct the new one.

“This is a very interesting first day at work,” Sherman said.

(Left to right) Keegan Sherman, Class of 2021, and Rhett Garett Class of 2022 watch as the first stage of Capers Hall’s demolition takes place at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Tuesday, June 8, 2021.

Sherman stood next to Cadet Everette “Rhett” Garrett, who is doing his second internship with Thompson Turner and will graduate with a Construction Engineering degree in 2022.

Both men will work on the Thompson Turner, Capers Hall Replacement Project team, with two other Citadel alumni, Todd McElveen, ’05, and Jay Rye, ’14.