MU to close apartment decks over spring break

Mar 20, 2014

The back decks on some units at Tara Apartments in Columbia, Mo.
Credit Mark Collins / KBIA

Editorial note (3/21/14 1 p.m.): A previous version of this story misidentified when the inspection will be completed. That date is unknown at this time. 

The University of Missouri will close off the back decks at Tara Apartments beginning Friday. MU spokesperson Christian Basi said the university wants to do a full inspection of all university buildings on campus after the fatal walkway collapse at University Village Apartments on February 22.

Trabue, Hansen & Hinshaw, Inc., a structural engineering firm, made the decision to inspect Tara Apartments more closely.

“When they inspected Tara Apartments, they took a look at the back decks as part of that inspection, and since that time, they’ve come back to us saying that they’d like to take a little closer look at those decks,” Basi said.

Basi said the firm hopes to have all of the back decks closed off by the end of next week, which coincides with MU's spring break. The university does not know its next step until the firm finishes its full report, which is also an unknown date at this point.

“Until they have an opportunity to go up and take a very, very close look, we wouldn’t know specifically what would be the best solution or best work for those decks,” Basi said.

Basi said this is still just a precautionary measure and the firm hasn’t found any structural flaws in the decks yet.

“They’ve asked us, as a precaution, to seal off the decks from the residents so that they will have an opportunity to go up and take a very, very thorough look at those decks and then determine if we need to make any improvements to the decks,” Basi said.

The university sent e-mails to the residents of the apartments to inform them of the deck closings. The e-mail asked residents to remove all personal belongings from their decks by Friday morning.