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University Relations

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


Grand Opening of The Crossing Celebrates UCM’s New Living-Learning Facility

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Aug. 14, 2015) – With businesses in operation and students settling in to their new residences, the University of Central Missouri will celebrate the completion of The Crossing – South at Holden, the largest capital building project in the institution’s history. The public is invited to attend the grand opening of this new facility, beginning at noon Thursday, Aug. 20.

Those attending will hear remarks about the project and its impact on the campus and local community, and have an opportunity to tour the housing facilities. Refreshments will be served and giveaways also are planned.

Crossing front
The main entrance exterior of The Crossing

UCM President Charles Ambrose and Board of Governors President Marvin “Bunky” Wright will speak at the event, which also will be attended by UCM administrators, faculty, staff, and students; representatives of businesses located in the facility; local government leaders; and members of the Warrensburg community. Also joining in the celebration will be representatives of the Kansas City area firms involved in planning, design and construction of the facility, Gould Evans, project master planner/designer; McCownGordon Construction, design-builder; and Treanor Architects, the architect of record.

The groundbreaking comes more than 17 months after demolition began on the former General Services Building, which for many years housed the Facilities, Planning and Operations unit, along with purchasing and printing offices. As part of the overall project, these services have been moved from 116 W. South Street to a new location at 415 E. Clark Street.

Crossing Apartment
An apartment in The Crossing

Providing an economic boost to the Warrensburg community, The Crossing is a 185,000 square-foot, 325-bed mixed-use residence hall and retail facility, which will serve as a living and learning center at UCM. It provides a combination of two- and four-bedroom units that feature kitchens, living areas, and private bathrooms for each two students, with supporting community spaces. It also includes an outdoor plaza area, and retail space within the building, including a new University Store, SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza and Starbucks coffee shop. All of these businesses, and many of the residence halls on the south side of the facility have exceptional views of Audrey J. Walton Stadium at Vernon Kennedy Field.

The Crossing, which costs approximately $42 million, was part of a $60 million multi-phase initiative. It included the relocation of the GSB to the former South East Elementary School on the east side of campus, and improvements to Audrey J. Walton Stadium. Stadium improvements include moving locker rooms from the GSB to the lower level of Walton Stadium, as well as installation of  new visitors seating and restrooms on the east side of the facility.

Crossing University Store
The New University Store at The Crossing

According to UCM President Charles Ambrose, “The Crossing “represents a new front door to UCM. When students visit campus and make a decision about where they should go to school, they do it in that first 30 minutes of coming to our community and to our campus. This building is just part of this experience.”

The new mixed-use facility is consistent with the university’s Learning to a Greater Degree contract for student completion, which is focused on measures that will help students graduate in four years. In addition to meeting requirements such as regular class attendance, taking the “right” 15 hours of college courses per semester, and meeting with academic advisors on a regular basis, the contract also makes the promise of creating a round-the-clock living and learning environment for UCM students.

 “The Crossing project really underlines the fact that in college learning takes place where students are,” Ambrose said. “This is going to be one of those projects that will not only re-define the University of Central Missouri, but how colleges can really help students to be successful with their degrees.”

Patrick Bradley, director of Housing and Dining Services, said The Crossing, is in response to student requests regarding the type of housing they most desire.

“Students kept saying they would like to live in apartment-style housing, but they wanted private bedrooms,” Bradley said. “We developed a plan for two- and four-bedroom apartments, and the designers/engineers are actually the ones who came up with the two-story units that we now call garden apartments.

“The other thing we did was to build vanities outside the bathroom, so in a four-person apartment, we actually have four sinks. So, it is really a nice opportunity for students to have privacy to sleep at night and to study, and also have nice amenities you might find in any off-campus apartments that are brand new.”

Ambrose said he appreciates the strong working relationships between the university and firms that have contracted with UCM to plan, design and construct the new facility. One of these firms, McCownGordon Construction, also has UCM alumni working in key positions associated with construction. Freddy Allison, who earned a degree in construction management in 2000 from UCM, has served as general superintendent. In addition to overseeing work on this important building, he used it as a learning opportunity for his alma mater’s students.

“I’ve given lots of tours to students, and we’ve had interns - at least five of them - through the duration of the project,” he said. “It’s been a living laboratory of the construction management group, where we’ve seen lots of different stages of construction from footings and foundations, to wall systems, roof construction, and wall finishes. So, it’s been a great opportunity to give back to the construction management program.”