University of Mississippi North Parking Structure

Old World, Meet New World
By combining structural and architectural prefabricated elements, the design team was able to blend a new eight-story 485,000 square foot, parking structure into the University of Mississippi’s predominately Georgian-style campus architecture.


The 1,532-space structural precast parking garage on the Ole Miss campus Oxford features a total precast concrete solution, including an embedded brick architectural precast façade, load-bearing walls, structural columns and beams, and a parking surface supported by field-topped double-tees.


The project represents a new and growing market for GATE Precast, as the embedded bricks effectively match the university’s traditional brick, which is normally hand-set.

Photo, Carl Walker, a division of WGI

Limited space, a sloped project site, and a very tight schedule were just a few of the challenges that designers faced when building the new structure. The garage sits in the heart of a 19th Century campus, so the design had to be practical and durable without overwhelming the existing architectural fabric. The designers knew that an all-precast-concrete solution would help them address these issues.

“An all-precast-concrete design simplified construction, reduced costs, and compressed the schedule versus options with traditional masonry or other applied facade material. It also helped the design team replicate the local architectural feel with a more modern and durable solution.”

– Rob McConnell,
Wantman Group, Inc.

The archi-structural panels are embedded with old world, wood-mold bricks which helped bridge the gap between traditional building methods and modern prefabricated techniques.

Photo, Carl Walker, a division of WGI

Passive security is a prime concern in all parking structures but especially on university campuses. The open stair towers were instrumental in meeting this program. At the east entry, the architectural detailing of the elevator tower features reveal patterns, mitered corners, integral limestone color and embedded brick spandrels and column covers.

Photo, Carl Walker, a division of WGI

Several premium features are visible at this interior view of the west entry/exit, including open framing of the stairs, long span construction, high overhead clearance, stained white interior, barrier free walking surface, transition LED lighting, and reflective directional signage.

Photo, Carl Walker, a division of WGI

The designers employed long-span, prestressed concrete double tees; located shear walls to the exterior plane; and provided large openings in both the shear walls and light walls to maximize openness and visibility, while providing natural light and ventilation.

Photo, Carl Walker, a division of WGI

The garage is built on a deep foundation of cast-in-place piles and pile caps that support the earth-retaining walls as well as the precast concrete superstructure. The precast concrete detailing permitted superstructure erection to proceed with a nominal 2-in. gap between the precast concrete and the adjacent walls in place.






Having the earth retention separated from the superstructure allowed the precast concrete connections to be standard, economical anchor bolts and bars/grout splice sleeves.”

– Clay Hudson
Gate Precast

The total precast parking structure is significantly larger than the surrounding student housing. To lessen the structure’s bulk while still delivering enough parking spaces to meet demand, the designers built the garage into the side of a 30-ft-high hill, which visually reduced the structure’s height to just four levels on one side. Glass-enclosed stair towers bookend all corners of the building.



All-Precast Concrete Parking Structure Award


PCI Gulf South Design Award