The University of Missouri announced Wednesday plans to demolish the University Village apartment complex and on-site Student Parent Center day care facility.
In a news release, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin announced the complex will close June 30 and be demolished "shortly thereafter." The news release pointed out the university made the decision despite engineers inspecting all the buildings at the complex and declaring them safe for occupancy.
The complex, 601 S. Providence Road, was the site of a walkway collapse last month that killed Columbia Fire Department Lt. Bruce Britt. University Village was built in 1956.
Loftin has also asked "several organizations on campus to begin discussing the feasibility of the future of child day care services on the Mizzou campus."
Parents of children at the Student Parent Center day care have expressed concerns about the building's safety, and some started a petition to pressure the university to move the facility to a different building.
Twenty-nine children attend the center, 16 of which are children of students.
"I texted my wife during the meeting and told her," said Nick Foster, whose daughter attends the center. "We didn't anticipate this happening, but we're going to have to arrange other options."
Foster is also executive director of the Volunteer Action Center, and counts Bruce Britt's wife Leigh as a friend.
"... In the midst of all this, I'm still thinking about Bruce," Foster said.
Dorothy Atuhura is one of two University Village residents who uses the day care. She has no car, so having nearby day care for her 3-year-old son is important, Atuhura said. She said she's glad the university is closing a place she calls "unsafe."
Apartment residents will be allowed to terminate their leases without financial penalty between now and June 30, the release said. Maintenance and repair work will continue at University Village, MU said.
"We will provide assistance to any students who are looking for alternative housing, as well as provide resources to those parents searching for child care," Cathy Scroggs, MU vice chancellor for student affairs, said in the news release.