Mississippi Architect, Nov. 1964: MGCCC, Jackson County Campus

Junior College Project



Junior College District

WILLIAM R. ALLEN JR., A.I.A., Architect, Jackson

GRACE and GUILD, A.I.A., Associate Architects, Mississippi City

MAGNANOS & YOUNG, Structural Engineer

JOE A. ALLEN, Mechanical & Electrical Engineer

DR. C.C. COLVERT, Educational Consultant

A FOUR-COUNTY college district, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College District, is constructing a new junior college campus in Jackson County, Mississippi.

Approximately one hundred acres of land has been purchased in a rolling piney woods, convenient to U.S. Highway90 on the Gulf of Mexico Coast.

Four hundred and fifty students are expected as an initial enrollment and that number is expected to double in ten years.

A limited budget is available for site preparation as well as the buildings, so a large auditorium and gymnasium are not being built at this time, but will be added in the near future. A solution was needed for the temporary handling of group meetings and physical education.

The owner wanted a campus plan in lieu of a single building.


The nearby shipbuilding corporation and the general industrial activities of the area dictate emphasis on technical and vocational training.

Science, business, languages and academic subjects are to be presented to prepare many of the students for further study in senior college.

The college is to be air conditioned for use twelve months of the year, and a program of night classes will be emphasized.

Adequate parking must be provided since many students will drive from neighboring towns.

The buildings are designed with a connecting covered walkway.  The cover also serves as a utility chase.

Administration offices, science, business, language and academic subjects, including library and teaching auditorium, are contained in the largest building. The teaching auditorium, which can be multi-purpose with lecture stations, will act as the temporary general auditorium until a later date, when the school expands and the larger auditorium is built.

A separate building houses the technical and vocational training program.


The student center is the third building and is placed apart with the idea of separating work and social-recreational activities. It overlooks a peaceful, rolling wooded area. Fine arts are temporarily included in the student center, but will be moved elsewhere when expansion allows. Also included in this building are locker and shower rooms to be used in conjunction with outdoor activities until the gymnasium is constructed.

Teaching activities with visual interest, such as science, technical and vocational programs will be carried on in rooms with see-in glass walls to interest passing students in exploring various programs.

There are two parking areas, recessed several feet below the surface level to subordinate the visual importance of the automobiles. Students will use the student center parking facilities. Instructors and visitors will use the other parking area. The two lots are connects be a service driveway.

The construction is concrete throughout, except for some small panels of brick. A five foot mound of sand was established as a plateau for elevating the building and simplifying foundation design. Large tilt-up concrete panels act as wall enclosures.

Load bearing concrete block walls are used for the sake of economy. Concrete tee beams with prestressed steel are competitive in the area and will be used. They support a poured concrete roofing deck at four-foot centers. Before the plan was finalized, a structural study was made toward using many repeat type members. Plan and structure accommodate each other.

Precast structural columns and beams will be used where needed.

Exterior walls are to be colored, figured, tilt-up, light aggregate concrete. Other exterior walls are to be richly surfaced cast stone with a minimum of windows.

Interior non-load bearing walls will be panels of chipboard, one and one-half inches thick, finished natural for pigment relief. The product is economical and sound-resistant.

Flooring will be resilient tile on a four-inch concrete slab on grade and fill. Second story flooring is constructed with fiber deck on tee beams and a three-inch concrete slab.

Roofing will be built-up with marble chips.

The concrete work will be mostly unfinished with light sand blasting for cleaning only.


This article is reprinted from the November 1964 issue of the Mississippi Architect, with permission from the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. View the full November 1964 issue of Mississippi Architect in a digitized format, or for other articles in this ongoing series, including the pdf version of each full issue, click on the MSArcht tab at the top of this page.

Categories: Architectural Research, Gautier, Gulf Coast, Universities/Colleges

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