On Post

VMI Opens New Cadet Activity Center Dubbed The Arsenal

Col. Adrian T. Bogart III ’81, Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins ’85, along with Cadets Cameron Cavanaugh ’23, Blake Smith ’23, and Garrett Petruskie ’23, make the ceremonial ribbon cut together at The Arsenal, the new cadet activity center.

Col. Adrian T. Bogart III ’81, commandant, and Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins ’85, superintendent, along with Cadets Cameron Cavanaugh ’23, Blake Smith ’23, and Garrett Petruskie ’23, make the ceremonial ribbon cut together, officially opening the new facility.—VMI Photo by Kelly Nye.

Virginia Military Institute held a ribbon cutting Feb. 8, 2023, for the new cadet activity center located on the ground floor of Crozet Hall. The center has been dubbed The Arsenal, through a vote by the Corps of Cadets, and is for their use to relax, socialize, and enjoy televised events. They chose the name as a nod to VMI’s history. The Virginia State Arsenal in Lexington was established in 1818 and then converted into the Institute in November 1839 with the goal of educating the young men who manned the arsenal. For more than a decade, students were housed in the old arsenal barracks.

Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins ’85, superintendent; Col. Adrian T. Bogart III ’81, commandant; Cadet Garrett Petruskie ’23, captain of the S7 staff; Cadet Blake Smith ’23, regimental commander; and Cadet Cameron Cavanaugh ’23, 1st Class president, made the ceremonial ribbon cut together, officially opening the facility.

Wins pointed out the importance of the facility. “Cadets need and want a place to spend some time together to talk, relax, and take in some entertainment. I think this is a great space, and it’s going to be fully utilized by the Corps. We also know that it only has a capacity for 85. There’s a good reason for that,” he quipped humorously, referring to 1985, the year he graduated from VMI.

According to Command Sgt. Maj. Suzanne D. Rubenstein, director of activities, there has not been a cadet-only relaxation space on post since the old Lejeune Hall was razed to build Third Barracks in 2007. “The previous space was a TV room with no amenities, other than seats and a rear projection screen TV. The Arsenal has a billiards table and two large-screen TVs with gaming, cable, and internet hook-ups. There are sectional sofas and café tables and chairs. A bar and grill, run by Parkhurst Dining, VMI’s food services vendor, offers sodas, sports drinks, and specialty food items.” She also expressed gratitude for gaming accessories and other items gifted by parents and anonymous donors.

Lt. Col. Lee Clark ’93, director of auxiliary services, reported that planning for the center began in earnest in 2021. “Class officers, the Institute planner, auxiliary services, physical plant, facilities management, and the commandant’s staff were all involved.”

Petruskie stated that the S7 staff, which is in charge of morale, welfare, and recreation, is tasked with manning the space. “The Arsenal will go a long way in raising morale. Cadets work very hard academically and physically. There is a lot demanded of them, and this center will be a real ‘shot in the arm’ in raising spirits,” he said.

The first official event for the space was a Super Bowl party Feb. 12. Hours of operation are 6:45–10 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The space may become available for other post events.

  • Marianne Hause VMI Communications & Marketing