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


Groundbreaking Launches The Crossing-South at Holden, UCM’s Largest Construction Project

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (April 29, 2014) – Telling spectators The Crossing – South at Holden is “symbolic of taking learning to a greater degree,” University of Central Missouri President Charles Ambrose led a groundbreaking ceremony today launching the largest building project in the university’s history. Nearly 100 people from the campus and local community were on hand to watch as the first shovels of dirt were turned at the site of the new $41 million facility at 116 W. South St. in Warrensburg.

Crossing groundbreaking group
Dignitaries from UCM, the city of Warrensburg, Gould Evan Architects, Starbucks, Sodexo and Spin Pizza participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for The Crossing-South at Holden.

Those attending heard remarks about the benefits of the project from Ambrose and Board of Governors President Marvin “Bunky” Wright, Columbia, while also learning more about sustainability measures that are being incorporated into the structure from Jim Schraeder, vice president of the Kansas City firm, Gould Evans, the project master planner/designer. Representatives of other Kansas City firms involved in the project were also in attendance, including AT Demolition, which is handling the demolition of the former General Services Building (GSB), where The Crossing is being constructed; McCownGordon Construction, design-builder; and Treanor Architects, the architect of record. Also present were representatives of SPIN! Pizza and Starbucks Coffee, two businesses which will be located on the lower level of this 325-bed mixed-use student residential-retail facility.  

“This is a major part of who we are and what we are to become as an institution,” Ambrose said, while thanking the university’s governing board and individuals who have served on the project management team. He also pointed out the project will have a significant economic impact on the Warrensburg community.

“One thing that is important for us to recognize is that the project construction phase – with AT Demolition, McCownGordon Construction, and Treanor Architects – will provide 160 Missourians with full-time jobs,” Ambrose said. “It will create 652,000 labor hours at an average pay rate of $45 per hour, and when it is finished it will be filled with student workers and employees who will have new campus-based jobs, as we look ahead to create the new student employment base.”

Architect's designs
Architectural drawing of The Crossing-South at Holden were on display at a reception at the Achauer House following the groundbreaking ceremony.

According to Ambrose, 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.

Wright told the gathering The Crossing is the fulfillment of a dream for many people on campus. The board looks forward to being able to celebrating the structure’s opening by the fall 2015 semester.

“It is something I think will draw attention and be useful to the City of Warrensburg, the University of Central Missouri, and certainly it will be a benefit to students of this university,” he said in talking about the new student residential-retail facility.

The Crossing also is being built with a goal to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s Silver LEED standards in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability.  Schraeder said this includes small- and large-scale efforts.

He noted that the event plaza to be located on the south side of the complex will include a bike maintenance station to support the university’s Re-Cycles initiative, which is a campus bike lending program. A number of additional efforts are also underway to reuse materials from the demolition of the former GSB, which was torn down to make room for the new facility.

“The design-build team is working very hard and has a goal of diverting from a land-fill 90 percent of all construction demolition waste for this project. One of the big ways we’ll be doing that is crushing rubble from the building and using it as sub-base under the (new) building and in the parking lot,” Schraeder said.    

The groundbreaking came 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.

The Crossing – South at Holden  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.