Parents at University Village daycare upset over engineers' findings

Parents upset over engineers' findings

COLUMBIA, Mo. - A recent inspection report is angering parents at the Student Parent Center daycare at University Village.

That's because in a meeting with university officials just last week, officials reassured parents the building and walkway was structurally safe.

Fast forward to Wednesday, and the engineers' report who inspected the building showed a different story.

The engineers report showed that building 602, the building that houses the daycare, was just one of three buildings that engineers said was in "imminent danger of a catastrophic collapse" unless immediate repairs were taken.

Parents told ABC 17 News the university officials had even told them a week ago that the wooden reinforcements under the walkways were not necessary, only precautionary.

Now, Christopher Engelhardt said he is especially happy he took his infant son out of the day care the day after the walkway collapse.

"I don't know how any parent can walk under these walkways," Engelhardt said. "These are the walkways we take our kids underneath. These are the walkways our kids play under. And these are the walkways that ultimately killed Lt. Bruce Britt."

He practically shuddered when he thought about what could have happened while his son was in the building.

"Taking our child to a place that appears derelict and in 2008 was recommended by residence life to be torn down but it's still standing today and that's anxiety provoking," he said.

Engelhardt's wife now stays home to find a babysitter instead of completing her degree, but he said he's not thinking about taking his child back until the university takes action.

"The only thing that could convince us to bring him back is a different location," he said. "Wooden beams holding up crumbling cement is akin to a bandaid on a broken arm.  It's just unacceptable."

Engelhardt and his wife wrote this email to Chancellor Loftin asking the daycare be moved to a temporary location.  They said he wrote back within a half hour, telling them the university is looking into options and will announce what they decide soon.

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