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University Relations

University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


UCM, Chamber Welcome Businesses to The Crossing

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Aug. 14, 2015) – With nearly 200 people gathered on the north side of The Crossing – South at Holden, University of Central Missouri President Charles Ambrose summed up the excitement in the air surrounding the opening of new businesses in the university’s first student housing/retail facility.

“There is a spirit of appreciation in Warrensburg, Mo., today. I don’t know how you can make it much greater,” Ambrose told the gathering, which included representatives of the university; the Greater Warrensburg Area Chamber of Commerce; members of UCM’s governing board; and community and business leaders. “Your presence here this afternoon honors the significance of what this building really means to the life of the university, the life of Warrensburg, and Johnson County.”

Ambrose was speaking at a ribbon cutting conducted by the Chamber of Commerce on Aug. 12 to celebrate the opening of SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza, Starbucks, and a new University Store at The Crossing. The ribbon cutting took place days prior to the official grand opening of the new facility, scheduled for noon Thursday, Aug. 20.

Crossing Chamber ribbon cutting
Representatives of the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce, UCM, and the businesses located in The Crossing - South at Holden joined in the ribbon cutting for the businesses.


In leading the ribbon cutting, Ambrose thanked the Chamber, the new business tenants, the Board of Governors, and the three Kansas City area firms that were instrumental in planning, design and construction of The Crossing -  Gould Evans, project master planner/designer; McCownGordon Construction, design-builder; and Treanor Architects, the architect of record. He also thanked members of Facilities, Planning and Operations employees for their cooperation as the university relocated the General Services Building to a new site at the former South East Elementary School to make room for what became the largest capital project in the university’s history.

While there was much he could have added about The Crossing, Ambrose stressed the ribbon cutting was about the businesses that are going to be serving the community.

“It is a great community to be in. It has great leadership, and all of us have a responsibility to make it better, and this is just one small way we can get involved in making a difference,” Ambrose told the crowd. “We’ll be having cups of coffee. We’ll be having pizzas, and we’ll produce some college degrees with alumni who will go out and change the world.”

Ambrose introduced other participants, including UCM alumnus Casey Lund, who serves as Chamber president.

Lund told the crowd that the Chamber has been undergoing changes in recent years, and the pillars that are most important to the organization include support for businesses and valuing education.

“The reason we have valuing education is because of Central Missouri and our commitment as businesses to lifelong learning that empowers leaders, because we know that leaders are the ones who take the community to the next level,” Lund said. He closed his remarks, adding, “We encourage everyone to love what’s local.”

Ambrose also introduced Charlie Rutt, manager of the University Store, who said the retail establishment’s theme is about “celebration.”

 “It’s about choosing to come to school here and celebrating academic achievement, Homecoming – all of those have legs,” he said, adding that the graphics inside the facility tie the community and university together.

“Our community has deserved a better store than it has. It deserves wide aisles and ease of shopping, and you have that now in this new store.

“Tell us what you want and we want to deliver on that,” Rutt encouraged the crowd.

Also speaking was Jim Halcombe, residence district manager for Sodexo, UCM Dining Services. He commended the opportunity to partner with Starbucks, “because they are a tremendous company to work with, and will provide an additional destination not only for students, faculty and staff, but the entire community.”

Halcome also praised the opportunity to work with SPIN! Pizza, and introduced Victor Brummell, a UCM graduate who is serving as SPIN! general manager.

“Getting back in the community has been amazing. We’re excited to be here, and hopefully everyone is excited to have us,” he said.

Founded in Overland Park, Kan., SPIN! is ranked number one by Zagat among Kansas City area pizza restaurants. It has received national, regional and local awards, including being named “best pizza” by numerous metropolitan area publications, and honored for the city’s best gluten-free menu. SPIN! is known for its artisanal food made from fresh high-quality ingredients and inviting atmosphere that appeals to all ages. In addition to a diverse selection of traditional thin-and-bubbly crust, rustic whole wheat, and gluten-free pizzas, SPIN! serves a large selection of fresh salads topped with made-from-scratch dressings, homemade soups, signature Panini and Italian deli sandwiches, appetizers, small plates, and all-natural gelato ice creams.

Starbucks began in 1971 in Seattle as a roaster and retailer of whole bean and ground coffee, tea and spices. Since that time, it has grown to more than 22,500 stores in 66 countries, with a goal to use the highest standards of quality and ethical sourcing practicing with coffee buyers personally traveling to coffee farms in Latin America, Africa and Asia to select high-quality beans. Stores serve as neighborhood gathering places, and the company prides itself on “quality of service, an inviting atmosphere, and exceptional beverages.”

Built on two levels with atrium views of Audrey J. Walton Stadium, the University Store offers 15,000 square feet of floor space where emblematic merchandise will be sold. It also features an adjacent 1,300-square-foot convenience store to help make it a “lifestyle center” within the mixed-use environment, and a kiosk for student-led sales.  Additionally, its proximity to downtown Warrensburg, along with interior touches symbolic of UCM, and colorful window displays will contribute to a welcoming community-university gateway.

 The University Bookstore, currently located in the Elliott Student Union, will continue to operate, serving as the main hub on campus for textbook distribution, along with other items for purchase.

To learn more about The Crossing – South at Holden, visit