Enhancing the ‘Campus Living Room’

Feb. 10, 2021

KWK Architects, partnering with CannonDesign, has completed a 15- to 20-year renovation masterplan for the University of Central Missouri’s Elliott Student Union, a 165,000-sq.-ft. social hub affectionately known as the “campus living room.”

LOCATION:
Warrensburg, Mo.
DESIGN TEAM:
KWK Architects, CannonDesign
CHALLENGE:

Most recently, kwk completed design and construction administration for implementing Phase 1 of the masterplan, which included a redesigned, modern main entrance and a new 280-seat multi-purpose auditorium addition. The total construction cost of Phase I was approximately $7 million. The new entrance was completed in fall 2019, while the new auditorium was completed in spring 2020.

The planning team worked closely with university leadership, students and staff to define a 15- to 20-year vision for renovating the facility, which also houses a bowling alley, several retail dining options,
a cinema, university offices, a bank, student programming spaces, ballrooms and meeting spaces.

SOLUTION:

“The new entrance and hallway were designed to be functional as well as inviting with its comfortable seating and modern design elements, which include wood accents, gray-toned flooring and the university’s signature red color featured throughout,” said Andy Noll, aia, project manager at KWK.

The 5,700-sq.-ft. auditorium addition, one of the highlights of the renovation, was designed with a stage and retractable seating so that the facility could be used for a variety of student and community events, such as wedding receptions, reunions and special gatherings. The entrance to the auditorium is also accessible through the new entrance hallway.

“The first-phase auditorium addition was directed towards student recruitment, providing a large, flexible space that introduced students to the university,” said Neuner. “Additionally, it was critical that the design address a connection between the new auditorium and the main visitor entry to Elliot Student Union,” said Neuner.

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