The Kables lost no time in rebuilding. On March 11, 1905, ground was broken for a new barracks and classroom building. The building was finished and ready for the opening of the 1905-06 session on September 20, 1905. The construction was of concrete and stone. With three exceptions, this was the basis of the construction of all new buildings at SMA from that time on. The exceptions were the Swimming Pool built in 1913; the cadet hospital (later the junior school) built in 1918 and added to in 1920; and a two story barracks constructed east of the relocated 1901 Mess Hall around 1920.
The new building, which would become to be known later as South Barracks, was in what was called “West Point” style; 170 feet by 145 feet, having a quadrangular court of 115 feet by 75 feet. There were 116 bedrooms, 12 class-rooms, chemical and physical laboratories, boiler-rooms, library, assembly-room of 2,000 square feet floor space, gymnasium of the same dimensions, numerous toilet-rooms. Bath-rooms containing thirty showers were located in the basement, with an adjoining swimming pool of 625 square feet.
The expansion plans started by W. G. Kable continued throughout his tenure as Commandant and then as President of the Academy after his father’s death in 1912. By 1909 an onsite laundry was constructed and the mess hall kitchen had been expanded. A new Mess Hall seating 500 with cadet rooms above was erected in 1913 along with a swimming pool that was located on the present site of Kable Hall. The old Mess Hall was dismantled and reconstructed east of the Plaza (The Asphalt) for use as the infirmary. Also in 1913, the property across the street from the Kable residence, known as “Commodore Skinner House” was acquired. A large wood frame structure would be added to the rear of this building in 1918 for use as the cadet hospital. A wing was added in 1920 to expand the hospital. In 1919 North Barracks was constructed. Along with the construction of this barracks, a new central plant and laundry was built just to the North of the Swimming pool. A wood frame barracks was built just east of the relocated old Mess Hall in the same time frame. 1919 also saw the largest cadet population to date with 650 cadets enrolled. That number would not be surpassed until the 1966-67 school term.
Sadly, William G. Kable died on July 5, 1920 before his entire expansion plan could be completed. At that time, W.G. Kable owned all of the shares of the Staunton Military Academy. His will specified that the shares shall be placed into a trust for the benefit of his wife and children. The will also specified that the shares could not be sold, except in the event of a catastrophe. Additionally, T.H. Russell was given the position as principal of the Academy for life and his brother, T.G. Russell was also given a position in “a proper capacity” for life. The trust was to be administered by five trustees; W.G. Kable’s widow Eleanor, T. H. Russell, W. H. Steele, Gilpin Willson, and W. C. Rowland. W.G. Kable’s widow had the responsibility of naming replacements for any Trustees that died or resigned. The school continued in operation under these trustees for the next 13 years. The SMA Corporation was reorganized in 1921 with the title of Principal being eliminated and President being instituted. T. H. Russell was named the President of the Corporation. (Note: There is no record of what happened to the other original stockholders of SMA. The ownership records have disappeared for that time and Capt. Kable’s will, if it existed, could not be located. The only thing that can be verified is that at the time of his death, William G. Kable controlled all shares of stock in the Academy.)
Trustees of SMA 1920 – 1933
Mrs. Eleanor Kable Whitehead Colonel Thomas H. Russell
Mr. Gilpin Willson
Mr. William C. Rowland Major William H. Steele
The expansion of the Academy started by William G. Kable did continue under T.H. Russell’s tenure as President. A new wall was built around Kable field in 1925. Also in 1925, the bathrooms in South Barracks were remodeled and the Quadrangle concrete was replaced. Memorial Hall was constructed in 1926 along with the Guard House in the middle of the Quadrangle of South Barracks. A rifle range was also constructed at this time northeast of North Barracks. Additional parcels of land were purchased with the final count showing 27 parcels of land made up the grounds. The completion of these last buildings ended the expansion programs instituted by W. G. Kable, but it did not end the expansion.
In 1927, the Board of Trustees petitioned the Circuit Court supervising the Trust for permission to further expand the school. The petition stated that the Trust would benefit from a larger Physical Plant that would allow for an increased enrollment. The Supervising Judge agreed and the School announced in 1929 that three new buildings would be built over the next several years. The first new building to be constructed was a three story block building known as the Work Shop built north of Memorial Hall and west of the Laundry. (This building later became known as West Barracks.) The second to be constructed was Kable Hall, in honor of William H. Kable and William G. Kable. It was constructed on the site of the 1913 swimming pool and included a new larger swimming pool and rooms for 108 cadets. Kable Hall was completed in 1932. The other building announced at that time was to be named East Barracks and it would replace the existing wood frame East Barracks on the east side of the Plaza. The new building was described as having rooms for 100 cadets, a study hall that would accommodate 275 cadets, and contain a bowling alley and rifle range. It would be positioned slightly further to the east than the existing wood frame barracks to allow for larger cadet formations on the Plaza. The wood frame buildings ended up burning to the ground in February 1933 before any construction began. The Great Depression had gripped the country and enrollment had fallen off with only 264 cadets attending during the 1932-33 session. Then, Thomas H. Russell died in May of 1933. Expansion of the Academy stopped.
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