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The Mackey Education Building is the most unusual of the vernacular buildings on campus and it marks a period of transition in the university's history and building program. Named in 1962 for retiring President A. B. Mackey, the two-story building with a full, raised basement utilized a familiar design element on campus: the classic covered portico with rounded columns on its raised porch. But it also incorporated three brick veneered bays on either side of its central limestone-covered exterior on both the front and rear elevations. Limestone-veneered insets separate brick bays that originally had no windows. At the ends of the front elevation, limestone-veneered areas with windows visually anchor the building. On the side of the building, brick is used with three-paneled windows running its length. The basement is covered in limestone veneer. Fire exist staircases, which were added in a renovation of 2001, are covered, open-walled, and have round columns to echo the use of columns at the entrance. The use of brick with limestone on the exterior marks a departure from the exclusive use of local limestone in the campus buildings built previously. This use of brick would also be a harbinger of later building designs between 1963 and 1998.
On the interior, the building originally was home to spacious study rooms and offices on the perimeter of each floor with library book stacks and storage space located in the core of the building. The stacks were separated from this perimeter by fire doors and interior stairwells. When the Waggoner Library opened in 2000, the Mackey Building underwent a complete interior renovation to accommodate the university's School of Education, which by that time had begun to offer the university's first doctoral program. The renovation included the addition of improved computer technology and also a handicap-access elevator for the building.