This beautiful Colonial Revival building was designed by architect J. M. Spain and constructed by the Works Progress Administration in 1942 (Progress public works in state, August 10, 1942, Biloxi Daily Herald, p. 1). As duly noted in 2010,
The old elementary building at this campus was built as the last gasp of the Federal Works Agency and maintained its Colonial Revival style and intact auditorium space. The school property was abandoned by the school district and is to be acquired by Mississippi College, probably to tear down all the buildings on the campus. (Mississippi Landmarks 2010, Preservation in Mississippi)
Perhaps Malvaney was just prescient in knowing that Mississippi College would not pay over 3 million dollars for a “beautiful piece of property, and the location could not be better in terms of proximity to our campus” (Mississippi College completes Clinton property purchase, 2010) unless they intended to demolish it–given that they were landlocked. The Clinton mayor, Rosemary Aultman, said of the sale,
MC is the right entity to own the property–they’ve been long identified with education, she said. We’re anxiously awaiting improvements on the property.
Perhaps whether or not that is accurate depends on how one views “improvements.” For 3 years following purchase of the property, nothing happened. In October, Mississippi College requested of the City of Clinton Planning and Zoning Commission permission to demolish the historic building…with nary a mention in the minutes that it was a historic building, deeply significant in the history of Mississippi’s efforts to educate children, and to climb out of the economic pit that was the Great Depression. The purpose of the demolition was to build additional student housing for the college, and the request was approved, with no discussion noted in the minutes of the meeting.
In December 2013, MC released plans to construct new resident halls, that would house 189 units (Mississippi College constructs new residence halls in 2014). And wow, just look how attractive it is, contrasted with that boring old 1942 historic building.