Three KC firms will build a student residence and retail complex at the University of Central Missouri

04/25/2014 8:58 PM

04/25/2014 8:58 PM

The University of Central Missouri has hired three Kansas City firms to design and build a $41 million student residence and retail complex, a project described as the biggest in the school’s history.

McCownGordon Construction of Kansas City has been hired to build the Crossing-South at Holden, a 325-bed dormitory with retail space. The master planner and designer is Gould Evans and the architect of record is Treanor Architects, also Kansas City firms.

The new building is part of $60 million in improvements on the campus in Warrensburg. The other work calls for improvements to Audrey J. Walton Stadium, including new visitor seating and restrooms and moving the school’s general services operation to the former South East Elementary School on the east side of campus.

A groundbreaking ceremony is set for Tuesday. The project is expected to be completed by summer 2015.

The Crossing-South at Holden development will include a combination of two- and four-bedroom residences, an outdoor plaza area and retail space to accommodate a new university store, Spin Pizza and a Starbucks coffee shop.

Jeff Murphy, a spokesman for the university, said the demand for housing had surged with the growth of the university and a new requirement implemented last fall that requires all students to live on campus their first two years.

“The last time we constructed a new residence hall was in the 1960s, so there’s been a tremendous need to improve our residential facilities,” he said.

University president Charles Ambrose said the project is part of a new emphasis on helping students complete their undergraduate degrees in four years.

“The Crossing project really underlines the fact that in college, learning takes place where students are,” Ambrose said in a statement.

“This is going to be one of those projects that will not only redefine the University of Central Missouri, but how colleges can really help students to be successful with their degrees.”

Jim Schraeder, vice president of Gould Evans, said the project is part of a master planning process at the university.

“This groundbreaking starts the 14-month process of moving our design for the Crossing-South at Holden into a living, breathing center for campus life, and we couldn’t be happier,” he said.

The University of Central Missouri is about 50 miles southeast of Kansas City and has an enrollment of 12,000 students.

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