Oct 3, 2008    #095
Contact: Laura Pate Byerley

McCownGordon Breaks Ground to Build LEED® Silver UMKC Student UnionFacility will support projected enrollment increase

McCownGordon Construction and the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) are excited to announce the groundbreaking of the $38.3 million student union at UMKC. The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3 at Cherry and 51st streets.

UMKC students have outgrown the University Center, which was built in 1961 for a student population of 3,600. With UMKC enrollment projected to increase by 20 percent in 2011, the student union will offer 108,300 square feet of space for students to congregate in.

Using the design-build approach, McCownGordon has been working with architecture firm Gould Evans to design and build a four-story student union. The facility will feature a two-story bookstore, 300-320 seat theater, open areas for student meetings and congregations, coffee shop, food court, retail space, event space, office space for student organizations, game room, garden terrace and parking garage.

“The new facility will offer students an open space to congregate together, and will embrace several sustainable design and construction principles,” said Ramin Cherafat, Vice President for McCownGordon Construction. “It will be a building students can be proud of.”

Designed with sustainability at top of mind, the project is seeking LEED® Silver certification and includes a green roof, pervious pavers on the garden terrace, use of native landscaping, water efficient fixturing, daylighting and storm water collection.

Earning the project an innovation credit towards the LEED® Silver certification goal, McCownGordon’s “Eco-Friendly Mobile Office Trailer” will be utilized on site. Fully equipped with solar panels, a wind turbine, composting toilet and other sustainable features, the off-grid trailer will offer project associates a refreshing alternative to typical jobsite trailers.

The new student union is projected to be completed for the fall semester 2010.

McCownGordon Construction is recognized as one of the largest general contractors in Kansas City and one of the fastest growing companies in the region. Focused on core values of integrity, relationships and performance, McCownGordon is committed to building collaborative partnerships and specializing in design-build and sustainability. With strong experience and expertise in a variety of market sectors, the company has been named one of the Chamber of Commerce Top 10 Small Businesses of the Year for two years running. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, the Kansas City Business Journal named McCownGordon among the Best Places to Work in Kansas City. More information about McCownGordon Construction is available at

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Celebrating 75 years, UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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