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Last Updated: Nov 17, 2015     Views: 101

Underground room located beneath a trapdoor in a cadet's room in Padgett-Thomas Barracks. It is a maintenance room used by the physical plant to maintain mechanical equipment. Cadets discovered it at least as early as 1963. It had furniture, a television, a makeshift barbershop, and a darkroom for photo equipment. It was also a place where cadets could drink alcohol. It had a 20-30 foot tunnel that led to an exit grate by a parking lot. This enabled cadets to enter and leave the barracks at will. Cadets kept civilian clothes there so they could change when they left campus. The tunnel was lit by Christmas lights. A tactical officer discovered the room in 1963. In 1964, there was an exhibit on some of the materials in the room. (I saw the exhibit and was told that the room had been filled in. The administration knew about the room before 1964. HN) It had never been filled in. (Apparently the administration put a lock on the trapdoor. Cadets removed The Citadel's lock and replaced it with one of their own.) Cadets had been using the room almost continuously until February 2000. The 1977 Sphinx, p. 98, has a humorous picture of the room occupied by members of Band Company. (Source: Charlene Gunnells, "Generations of Cadets Knew About Secret Room," Post and Courier, February 25, 2000, pp. 1B, 6B. This is an interesting article well worth reading. Used with the permission of Charlene Gunnells, Grace Kutkus, and The Post and Courier.)

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