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


Design-Builder Named for UCM's New Student Housing-Retail Project

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Oct. 28, 2013) –  Furthering its commitment to enhance the value and quality of students’ educational experience, the University of Central Missouri’s Board of Governors has selected McCown Gordon Construction/Treanor Architects, Kansas City,  to provide design-build contractor services for the university’s first combined student housing –retail project.  The board on Oct. 25 authorized a budget up to $42.15 million for the project, including possible upgrades to the facility.

“This is another major step for UCM in meeting the objectives of our Learning to a Greater Degree Contract for student completion,” said Charles Ambrose, university president. “The new mixed-use facility is an essential element in UCM’s student engagement and success efforts, and we look forward to working with our design-builder to construct a facility that offers unique residential and social amenities that our students will enjoy every day of the week. We are also excited about the opportunity to create a new special destination venue and new front door to the northwest side of the university campus aligning more closely with the community. ”

The university plans to complete construction on the 185,000-square-foot mixed-use facility in time for the fall 2015 semester. It will be located at the current site of the General Services Building on the north side of Audrey J. Walton Stadium at Vernon Kennedy Field.

Once completed, the facility will include a living center consisting of 325 beds for students, two- and four-bedroom units, and retail offerings that include a new University Store, a convenience store, coffee café, and a destination restaurant. Other special features include a number of spaces for social interaction, including small window seats, two-story lounges, large community rooms, and an events plaza. Individuals who utilize these facilities will also enjoy them with a panoramic view of the university’s football stadium and nearby campus landmarks.

The location of the mixed-use facility and its commercial enterprises will benefit both the campus and local communities, enabling the facility to serve as an anchor to the southern end of Warrensburg’s downtown business district, according to Jim Schraeder, vice president of Gould Evans. The Kansas City area architectural and planning firm is serving as bridging designer and owner’s representative for the mixed-use facility. The firm will work closely with the design-builder throughout the duration of the project.

Construction of the new student housing-retail complex is the second phase of a two-part project. The first phase includes renovation of the former South East Elementary School and construction of a metal building to accommodate the UCM Facilities, Planning and Operations unit, which is currently housed in the General Services Building. Select upgrades to the football stadium are also part of phase one. Both of these projects are in progress, and demolition of the GSB is expected to take place in March or April 2014 to make way for the new mixed-use facility.

“It’s coming to fruition and it’s wonderful,” said Marvin “Bunky” Wright, board president from Columbia, after the meeting Oct. 25. “The board’s decision represents significant progress at UCM. And we want to thank everyone who served on the design-builder evaluation team. Hiring a design-builder will give the university design and construction services for a project that is going to transform the campus with new housing, retail and dining opportunities that will benefit our students and the community for many years to come.”

Construction of the mixed-use facility is expected to be financed with a combination of direct placement and the public offering of Educational Facilities Revenue Bonds, which would be issued by the Missouri Health and Educational Facilities Authority (MOHEFA). Room rentals, added retail value, cash flow freed up from existing student housing debt as it matures, and a subsidy from the existing housing system will be used to service the debt. Bonds issued through MOHEFA would also finance renovations at the football stadium in the short term. In August 2013, the UCM Foundation launched a $6 million capital campaign, Mules for Life, to help fund the stadium work in the long term through donor contributions. Recommendations to use bond financing on these projects were also approved by the board during the meeting Oct. 25.