The Commercial Dispatch reports work on the city-owned building could take up to two years.
Mayor Robert Smith said initial work will be done on the interior, including installing Wi-Fi, upgrading restrooms, installing a new elevator from the Second Avenue North entrance and installing a new sound system and lighting.
Exterior improvements include redoing copper awnings, installing restrooms in the courtyard and adding benches.
The center was created in 1983 by an act of the Mississippi Legislature to serve Lowdnes County.
Funding for the renovations will come from a tax agreement between the city and Columbus Light and Water. The city will pay back $200,000 a year for 20 years on the project.
"Columbus Light and Water will pay the city a fee instead of sales tax," Chief Operations Officer David Armstrong said. Armstrong said the city had collected $1.6 million under the deal and Columbus Light and Water will provide an additional $400,000.
The utility also is working with the city on an energy efficiency project that will provide lighting upgrades in most city buildings including City Hall, the Columbus Police Department and five fire stations.