University Village responds to residents' concerns

COLUMBIA, Mo. - University Village managers responded to residents' concerns about safety after days of complaints and attempts to move out.

On Thursday, University Village managers sent a letter to residents allowing them to find other living options if they wanted with no penalty for breaking their lease, as well as offering assistance in finding them other housing.

Officials gave residents until March 21 to decide if they wanted to renew their lease.

This comes after all 18 residents in building 707 moved out, and several other residents in additional buildings also wanted to move out to feel safer.

Grace Wadholm said she and her husband Bob decided to move out even before the managers announced there would be no penalty for breaking a lease early.

"It was terrifying," she said. "I needed to be out as soon as possible because I had no idea what would happen, and I didn't want to stay to find out."

She and her husband discovered cracks in their walkway one day after a walkway collapse took Lt. Bruce Britt's life.

She said they contacted the university, but wasn't getting any help.

"At first, they weren't listening to us at all.  They said they couldn't imagine cracks in the walkway," Wadholm said. 

But they kept pushing for university officials to respond, sending them pictures of the cracks and writing letters.

"It hasn't been a pleasant experience," Bob Wadholm said.  "They finally just started listening to us and now they said they'll put steel supports up as well."

ABC 17 News spoke with university officials today who said an additional six people requested to move out of their apartments just on Wednesday.

"We'd like to see all residents evacuated," Wadholm said. "They should tear down walkways and maybe the buildings if necessary."

ABC 17 News is still waiting on inspection records from the university.  Officials said they should be available next week.

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