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Vandiver Student Union

Moorhead, Mississippi

The project involved a new student union for MDCC. The planning process began in 2012 and involved investigation of two potential sites before locating the building at the campus core. Multiple year cycles were required to obtain the required funding, extending the design and planning process over a 3 year period.

Passive design was utilized to respond to local climate. Large gabled roof overhangs provide deep porches that provide relief from the sun, protect from rain, and enhance student gathering. End walls on each porch feature stained cedar sunscreens to provide ventilation to gathering areas, which include an outdoor dining area. Recycled-content materials were used for interior finishes, including quartz agglomerate countertops, textile composition floor tiles and low-VOC paints. Lighting includes occupancy sensors to control electrical use during off hours, and heating-cooling systems are tied to a controls system to regulate use during peak and non-peak hours.

The building is designed to complement existing campus architecture and open itself to the landscape for student gatherings. The exterior design was influenced by the 1960s-era buildings around it, with a muted palette of red-colored brick, stucco and wood accents. Interior spaces accommodate modern technology needs and student amenities, with wireless internet, abundant charging stations and a coffee bar. Spaces include a student lounge, food service area, fitness room with exercise equipment and lockers, and a game room. The conference room can be divided into three meeting spaces via operable partitions. Finally, the buidling includes a suite of offices for the Dean of Student Life.

Project Information:


State of Mississippi


$4,100,454 (including FF&E)


11,600 SF


Completed 2016

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