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Attempting to circumvent the problem of Mississippi's shifting soil by designing a brick structure of one story with low walls and a strong foundation, Emmett J. Hull took advantage of the sloping site and blessed Holmes Hall with basement rooms on the north wings. The building's "H" design, with open corridors and two courtyards, was considered economical for construction, efficient for school purposes, and architecturally appropriate for the open southern country. The original plan for auditorium space in the central position was expanded midway during construction to include accomodation for physical education classes and socials. The change, which meant that the auditorium floor had to be level, affected performance acoustics so negatively that the Paul Robeson Dramatic Club continued to use Ballard Hall's limited 113 seat space for performances.
In the 1960s, the open arched arcades of Holmes Hall were filled in with brick to create office spaces. The arches along the front arcade have been filled with aluminum storefronts also.
Although several remodeling efforts have provided upgrades to the building over the last several years, several deferred maintenance issues, including a new roof over the central auditorium and masonry repairs, have yet to be addressed. An interior remodelling of the auditorium is also warranted.