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Ceremony Held For Groundbreaking Of New Business School Building At The Citadel

Bastin Hall (WCIV)

For the first time since 1974, The Citadel will construct a new academic building. And it'll be the first facility built entirely with donated money. Military college officials believe it's a new way of financing the future of the school.

A round of applause for patrons, faculty, and Citadel faithful. On Saturday afternoon, they celebrated the groundbreaking for the new $22 million, Bastin Hall which will house the Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business.

"Not only is it the first academic building we've built in a long time. It’s going to be the first building in the history of the college that's primarily financed by philanthropy," said Bud Watts IV, chairman of The Citadel Foundation Board of Visitors.

The new facility comes as school leaders deal with aging facilities. Plans are in the works to demolish the nearly 70-year-old Capers Hall and build a new one. A mold problem in two cadet barracks and outdated quarters elsewhere have college officials planning to modernize the historic campus.

"We moved down here in 1922. And so we have an older infrastructure. And to be able to build a building, a state of the art building for the school of business is just fantastic," explained Lt. Gen. John Rosa, president of The Citadel.

Rosa says 11 years ago, the state provided 20-percent of The Citadel's operating budget. This year, it’s just under 9-percent.

"We're pretty basic here. We're not a really big frilly institution. We like it that way. We like it tough. We like it professional. And our buildings reflect that," Rosa said.

Still, college officials admit funding alternatives are important.

"Through the generosity of many, many families we're able to do this at no expense to the state. So we're proud of that," Rosa said.

For now, construction on the new 6-million dollar Bastin Hall will begin next march. Classes are expected to be held there in the fall of 2019.

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