U. Missouri-Kansas City to construct $17 million dorm

Dec. 19--A $17 million dormitory being built at the University of Missouri-Kansas City is the final installment of a recent on-campus residence expansion that will quadruple the number of beds.

The 328-bed, four-story building is going up near the current Cherry Street Residence Hall and is being built by Clayco Inc. of St. Louis. It is expected to be ready by fall 2009, at which time the 50-year-old Cherry Street dorm will be renovated into offices and classroom space at a cost of $2.8 million.

Bob Simmons, UMKC director of campus facilities management, said that when the new dorm is completed it will bring the number of beds available on campus to about 1,500, up from 330 beds five years ago. The new dorm is the next phase of the Oak Street West development that added 514 beds to the campus housing inventory this fall.

"That project completes what we're looking at for the near term for housing on the Volker campus," Simmons said Thursday. "We continue to look at the possibility of more housing at the Hospital Hill campus."

The latest housing project was approved by the University of Missouri Board of Curators in October 2007. At the time, university officials said they expected the new housing to help UMKC increase its enrollment. The university currently has about 14,500 full- and part-time students at both campuses.

The 82,000-square-foot dorm has been designed to achieve basic LEED certification, a ranking system for evaluating the environmental friendliness of a building design developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. It will be the first building owned in the University of Missouri system to pursue LEED status, according to a release from Clayco.

The new dorm will feature two wings of semi-suite, double- and single-occupancy rooms. Each wing includes a large multipurpose room, private study areas and a community kitchen. The dorm also will have three secured, soundproof music rooms for performance practice.

"This new housing facility continues a UMKC focus towards enhancing residential life for its students through a true living-learning environment," said Kirk Warden, Clayco senior vice president, in a statement.