College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Workers trying to make sure the bats at Brooks Center go away and stay away


CLEMSON – Clemson University Facilities and private pest-control experts are working to make sure the bats that caused the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts to cancel performances will go away and stay away.

Photo of the Brooks Theatre at the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts.
The Brooks Theatre at the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts.

The maintenance staff has installed an “excluder” – a device that allows bats to leave a building but not return – at a small gap in an outside wall where about 20 bats were seen entering. Since two bats were first sighted at Brooks Feb. 27, the maintenance team has worked to humanely remove bats from the building and seal any entry points.

A firm reopening date for the Brooks Theatre has not been established, but a prolonged closure is not anticipated.

“As always, the safety of students, faculty, staff and patrons is our highest priority,” Goodstein said. “While it has been frustrating to discover a small number of bats this spring, we are working closely with the university’s Facilities team to ensure that the issue is quickly and fully resolved.

“We regret any inconvenience and look forward to welcoming audiences back into the Brooks Theatre so they can enjoy quality entertainment in a facility that has been recognized as one of the country’s top 10 university performing arts centers,” he said.

When the two bats were first sighted, Clemson University Facilities personnel responded promptly, arriving the next morning to investigate and inspect the wall of the Brooks Theatre where free-tailed bats had roosted in spring 2018. Though roosting activity was not immediately apparent, additional bats were seen at the Brooks Center over the weekend.

The Facilities staff and contractors continue to inspect outside walls at the Brooks Center, especially areas where masonry and metal meet, to seal any gaps they encounter.

In 2018, the Brooks Theatre was closed from March 30 to April 27 due to a more extensive bat issue, a free-tailed bat colony that had roosted in a wall.

Brooks Center event updates

  • “The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System” performance scheduled for 7 p.m. on March 7 has been moved to NewSpring Church at 13200 Clemson Blvd., Seneca. Tickets are $10, $5 for students. NOTE: Imagination Station activities will not be held at 6 p.m.
  • The 282nd Army Band will perform a free concert at 7:30 p.m. on March 8 at D.W. Daniel High School, 140 Blue and Gold Blvd. in Central. This is a free, non-ticketed event.
  • CU Symphonic Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. on March 11 at D.W. Daniel High School, 140 Blue and Gold Boulevard in Central. Tickets are $5, free for students.

Any additional schedule adjustments will be updated on the Brooks Center website and through social media. For tickets or more details about these performances, please visit the website.

Further information

  • The bats seen at the Brooks Theatre last week were the same type as last year: free-tailed bats. These medium-sized bats can squeeze through openings as small as 3/8 inch.
  • Clemson University Facilities staff members have been working with a private pest control company and wildlife experts to safely remove the bats without harm to them.
  • It is not uncommon for bats to enter buildings, especially in the springtime when they are more active during daylight hours.
  • In general, the public is reminded not to interact with any bats they might observe, on campus or elsewhere, and not to touch them or harm them, as bats are protected by federal law. Any direct contact with a bat is grounds for medical attention to rule out the remote risk of contact with rabies.
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