MSU’s Sanderson Center to undergo $2.5M renovation

Contact: Brock Turnipseed

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University’s Joe Frank Sanderson Center will undergo a two-phase, $2.5 million interior renovation beginning March 1.

MSU Joe Frank Sanderson Center
A $2.5 million renovation of the Mississippi State Joe Frank Sanderson Center will begin March 1. (Photo by Anne Louise Phillips)

“The Sanderson Center is a beloved part of our campus community and an integral part of our university well-being efforts,” said MSU Vice President for Student Affairs Regina Hyatt. “We are grateful to our students for their investment in improving these facilities through the student activity fee and for the support from President Keenum and Campus Services in providing additional resources to make these much-needed improvements. This is a perfect example of students providing feedback and using that feedback to make changes to better the student experience.”

Access to the second floor will be closed during the project’s initial phase to convert the existing racquetball courts into a new exercise area. Additionally, the first-floor racquetball courts will be closed to transform the corner court into a bouldering cave and provide ADA accessibility.

Phase two is scheduled to commence on May 13. During this phase, the main corridor will be closed for the construction of a new egress stairway, lockers and seating area, and the opening over the first floor will be filled in. The University Recreation administrative offices will be the only area accessible through the main entrance during this phase. A sidewalk will be constructed on the east side of the center to allow patrons access to the facility during this time.

New carpet and fresh coats of paint will be included throughout the project.

“Our students have been asking for more fitness space for several years, so I’m really excited about giving them a fresh, open and welcoming area upstairs,” University Recreation Director Patrik Nordin said. “The architects have done a great job of maximizing the upstairs space and creating a workout area where people will feel comfortable exercising regardless of their fitness experience.”

The project, scheduled to be completed by Aug. 1, will be the Sanderson Center’s first major renovation since the facility opened in 1998.

The renovation is made possible through the student activity fee supplemented by additional university funds. In 2022, the MSU Student Association facilitated a referendum to raise this fee to provide the necessary funding to support the renovation.

For more information on the Sanderson Center and University Recreation’s offerings, visit or @urecmsstate on Facebook, Instagram and X.

Mississippi State University is taking care of what matters. Learn more at

Thursday, February 15, 2024 - 11:37 am