The YMCA building on the Mississippi State University Campus is one of architect N.W. Overstreet’s earliest building. The need for a YMCA building became evident as membership and activities rose on campus. John D. Rockefeller pledged $40,000 to the cost of construction, under the condition that the students would raise the other $20,000 that was needed. Dr. W.A. Weatherford, an official of the Southern Area YMCA, came to the university, organized the students, and led the fundraising campaign. The money was raised, and the building was erected in 1914. For many years, the YMCA called this building home. Today, it is still known as the YMCA Building, The structure is located in the historic core of the campus and will now house the Dean of Students, the VP of Student Affairs, Budget and Planning and General Counsel offices directly adjacent to the new Old Main Academic Center.
The renovation project focuses on the complete interior and exterior restoration/renovation of the historic building and surrounding site. The project was designed to sensitively incorporate current technology, safety upgrades and energy efficiency. New Furniture and equipment also was selected to support the historic character of the building. The project provided limited expansion of the campus central plant loop and thermal storage pods.
The building’s first floor was heavily renovated in the 1950’s to house the university Post Office. The post office was recently relocated out of the building and the first floor was returned to its original character, including the reconstruction of the two grand stairways from the main lobby area on the second floor.
The original lobby area has been restored, as have original doors and windows. Dropped ceilings were removed and the original ceilings have been restored in much of the building to regain character while accommodating the building users needs.
The character of the original two-story auditorium area was maintained by the careful insertion of office space in the center area only, leaving the two-story space and full-height windows undisturbed.
“A renovation project where the interiors highlight the past but also create a very modern space. It was wonderful the way that it was woven together into a narrative that really truly continues to bring a building that many of us know quite well, to life in a new way.” – Kimberly Brown, AIA MS Awards Juror, 2019
Client: Bureau of Buildings / Mississippi State University
Date Completed: 2018