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


Groundbreaking Celebration April 29 Launches UCM’s Largest Capital Project

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (April 22, 2014) – With participation from Kansas City area construction, planning and architectural firms, the largest capital building project in the history of the University of Central Missouri - The Crossing – South at Holden - officially launches Tuesday, April 29 with a groundbreaking ceremony on campus. The public is invited to attend the event beginning at 10 a.m. at 116 W. South St., Warrensburg.

Those attending will hear remarks about the project and its impact on the campus and local community, learn more about energy efficiency measures being incorporated into the facility, and view architectural drawings of the project. Everyone in attendance also is invited to a reception with refreshments immediately following at the Achauer House on the opposite side of the street. The groundbreaking takes place within the fenced-in area at the site of the former General Services Building (GSB), and participants will enter from the east side.

Crossing-South at Holden

UCM administrators, members of the Board of Governors, Warrensburg city officials, local legislators, and representatives of businesses to be located in the facility have been invited to participate in the ceremony. They will be joined by representatives of Kansas City firms, Gould Evans, project master planner/designer; McCownGordon Construction, design-builder; and Treanor Architects, the architect of record.

The groundbreaking comes approximately one month after demolition began on the GSB, 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. McCownGordon Construction plans to make souvenir bricks from the former GSB available to interested individuals attending the groundbreaking.

Scheduled for completion by the summer 2015, The Crossing - South at Holden is a 325-bed mixed-use residence hall and retail facility, which will serve as a living and learning center at UCM. It will provide 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 will include an outdoor plaza area, and retail space within the building, including a new University Store, SPIN! Pizza and Starbucks coffee shop.

Contributing to a total cost of approximately $60 million, additional improvements planned as part of the overall project include the relocation of  GSB services to the former South East Elementary School on the east side of campus, and improvements to Audrey J. Walton Stadium at Vernon Kennedy Field, located directly south of the new mixed-use facility. 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.

UCM President Charles Ambrose said the new mixed-use facility is part of the university’s new 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 requires undergraduate students to reside on campus their first two years at the university.

 “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.”

Ambrose said he appreciates the strong working relationships between the university and firms that are 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.

“McCownGordon is proud to partner on this collaborative, design-build team with UCM. The $41 million student housing facility will be a showcase in higher education for the region,” said Ramin Cherafat, COO.

Gould Evans has a long history of involvement with the university, having assisted UCM with efforts that include the 2009 Master Plan and recent capital projects such as the new Student Recreation and Wellness Center, where U.S. President Barack Obama spoke last year.

“Gould Evans is excited that our ongoing partnership with the university has led to yet another campus-changing facility. 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,” said Jim Schraeder, vice president of Gould Evans.

To learn more about The Crossing – South at Holden and the groundbreaking celebration, please visit