Swyers dedicates new campus housing

New cadet housing is family friendly.

by Sue Schumann Warner –

At the conclusion of Friday’s Commencement ceremony at Crestmont, Siemon Hall—the College for Officer Training’s new housing facility—was officially and joyfully opened with a ribbon cutting and dedication.

“This new building is an answer to prayer, for it will be home to our growing number of cadets,” said Territorial Commander Commissioner Philip Swyers. “It has been the desire of many principals in years past to have adequate housing for the training of new officers and their families. God has made this building a reality and we accept it as a gift from him.”

Located across from the chapel it contains 18 two-bedroom, two bath units and two three-bedroom, two bath units; they range in size from 1,050 sq. feet to 1,270 sq. feet. Each includes a washer/dryer; a kitchen complete with microwave, dishwasher, and refrigerator; and master bedroom with a walk-in closet and its own bath.

Siemon Hall is the first new cadet housing to be built on campus since the Army purchased the former Marymount College in the mid-1970s. “We have been using the existing dorms for cadets’ housing. They were designed for single students and did not include kitchens or washers and dryers,” noted Training College Principal Major Steve Smith. “Now, the existing dorms have been completely remodeled—including new plumbing and electrical—and the new wing, Siemon Hall, has been added to provide better living accommodations for our families. With the kitchens, families can choose to have a meal together and enjoy spending time being a family; each unit looks and feels like an apartment rather than a series of individual dorm rooms.”

Funding for the new housing was provided primarily through a donation from a family that encountered The Salvation Army during World War II when Bill Siemon, a soldier, received doughnuts and coffee.

“Thanks to a generous gift from the Margaret T. Siemon Trust, combined with some additional funds, the territory has been able to accomplish three helpful major projects,” said Chief Secretary Colonel William Harfoot. “First, a program endowment was established at THQ from which many special program initiatives have been funded. The specific programs and funded initiatives have benefited the territory as a whole—every division and many corps in the territory.

“The other two projects accomplished with the Siemon Trust were of special interest to the Siemons. One focused on inner city ministry and the other on education. Thus, the second project was an endowment for the South Los Angeles Youth Center and the third project is the new cadet residence at Crestmont.

“For their generous gift, the youth center and cadet residence have been named in honor of the Siemon family.”

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