Capers Hall to be demolished this year

VIDEO: Capers Hall to be demolished this year

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Citadel’s historic Capers Hall will soon be demolished and re-built.

Officials say this will be the first time an academic building is replaced at the college in 40 years.

A little over a year ago, the Charleston’s Board of Architectural Review denied the demolition.

The school then filed an appeal with Charleston county saying that denying the demolition is a disadvantage to the students and teachers inside.

Citadel Vice President of Communications and Marketing Colonel John Dorrian says they have since discussed the need for the new building with the city and it was approved.

Dorrian says Capers Hall is the largest academic building on campus and about 75% of cadets take classes there. He says it was built in the early 1950′s and received some additions in the 70′s.

Capers Hall will be demolished starting in June because Dorrian says the building is not conducive to modern technology and teaching methods.

“The Citadel is a public college, we’re an iconic part of the Charleston city community and we want this to be an inviting space. This facility is going to be consistent with that,” Dorrian said. “The grand vision behind it, not only benefits the Citadel, it’s going to benefit our neighbors as well. So, we think it’s a win, win for everyone, we’re very excited to continue our coordination and continue our progress here.”

Dorrian says the new Capers Hall will be about 40% larger than the current building and the college plans to bring 37 classrooms and 200 offices to the new construction. The classrooms are planned to be larger and more diverse, to allow for more collaborative work spaces.

Dorrian says they are also excited to bring a 250-seat auditorium to Capers Hall that will be open and available to community events.

Plans show the redevelopment will improve the surrounding neighborhoods and Dorrian says the construction work will include moving some utilities underground and working to improve drainage.

“The architecture that we have at The Citadel is a Moorish design. And the new building that we put up is going to be consistent architecturally with all the other buildings that you see here,” Dorrian said. “So, when you look at that, it’ll be modern on the inside, but it’ll still have that iconic look that people love about the Citadel.”

Dorrian says the work is expected to take about two years, but he hopes it will be ready for classes in 2023.

While being re-built, classes and professor offices will have to disperse to other buildings on campus, and Dorrian says they will use eight temporary classrooms that will be set up later.

The City of Charleston Technical Review Committee will be reviewing site plans for this project on Thursday at 9 a.m. The Zoom link to watch that meeting can be found on their website.

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