The University of Missouri is contemplating its options after announcing the University Village apartment complex will close on June 30th and be demolished. The University made the announcement two and a half weeks after a walkway collapsed at the apartments forcing the evacuation of residents and causing the death of responding Columbia firefighter Bruce Britt.
The University Village apartments also house the Student Parent Center, a daycare for student parents which was founded in 1974. The University has reached out to various organizations on campus to discuss whether the university will house a new daycare for student parents. According to university spokesman Christian Basi, the university will allocate the money currently going to the Student Parent Center, more than $130,000, towards other academic priorities and deferred maintenance projects.
Despite the decision to demolish the buildings, Chancellor Loftin stressed that the buildings are safe and have been thoroughly inspected in the wake of last month’s collapse.
“It is important to note that even though we have made this decision, the facilities have been declared safe by licensed, professional engineers,” Loftin said. “The safety of our students and their families is the University’s top priority.
University Village apartment residents will be allowed to terminate their lease without penalty between now and the June 30th closure. As of now there is no plan in place to build another complex similar to University Village for the students with families, older undergrad students and graduate students. Basi said the university will analyze the needs of the entire student body in terms of housing and in relation to the Columbia rental market which has seen a large growth recently.