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University of Central Missouri offers housing with a touch of retail anyone can utilize

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WARRENSBURG, Mo. -- The University of Central Missouri is opening its doors to the community, and ironically, it involves student housing.

The university built new dorms, but they include a touch of retail, including coffee and food options open to anyone who wants to use them.

Living on campus doesn’t always mean living in luxury. But luxury is how senior Te’lor Hawkins would describe her apartment at the school.

“As soon as they started talking about building this place, I said yea I have to move here,” she said with a laugh.

Hawkins thought about packing her bags and moving off campus until she heard about The Crossing. It’s the university's residence hall and retail space.

“It didn’t really have anything here so seeing it now is amazing. It was nothing here and now it’s big and beautiful,” Hawkins said.

It cost nearly $42 million to build. The idea is to keep students from moving off campus but also to integrate the Warrensburg community.

“We’re seeing people cycle through campus who we didn’t know lived here. But it could be airman from Whiteman air force base on the way to work in our local community,” said President Chuck Ambrose.

There’s a two-story University Store stocked full off Mule gear. There are also staples to fuel every college student; pizza and coffee

“It has a Starbucks. It’s good for college students. I was just really excited about that,” Hawkins said. There’s also Spin! Neapolitan Pizza just a few steps away.

The main selling point for Hawkins is the living space. There are two and four bedroom apartments with full kitchens and bathrooms. Some apartments and community spaces overlook the football field, which is perfect for game days.

“I feel like I wouldn’t find another apartment off campus that would look as nice as this place,” said Hawkins.

Hawkins graduates in December but with a place like this, she says it’ll be hard to say goodbye.