COLUMBIA, Mo. - The University of Missouri said several University Village residents are in the process of finding a new place to live after the deadly February walkway collapse at the apartment complex. The school announced Wednesday it would demolish the apartments, along with the Student Parent Center daycare, June 30.
"We're trying to make sure that, if we do have students moving off campus, that we're trying to make this transition as smooth as possible," MU spokesman Christian Basi said.
The Office of Off-Campus Housing will assist University Village residents that want to break their lease early. Basi said the office searches for apartments that fit each resident's specific needs, such as family size, pets or geographic preference. The University has two other apartment complexes for students with families - Manor House and Tara Apartments. The Office of Off-Campus Housing did not say whether there were any vacancies at those two complexes.
Basi said space near campus may become a problem as the demolition date draws near.
"We'll work with [residents] to determine what their specific needs are, and try to get them to a facility that meets those needs," Basi said. "Although we are very, very tight right now, very full."
Jon Baumstark and Summer Schacht live at Tara Apartments, and their son Gavin attends the Student Parent Center. They said the announcement to tear down the daycare shocked them.
"We were hoping they would take the other route, and really try to enhance the structures already there, make the necessary repairs for the residents and the children going to the daycare there," Baumstark said.
While Baumstark said he received some online resources to find a new daycare for his son, many of them are currently full.
"If we were residents at the University Village, our frustration would be double," Schacht said. "Not only not having a daycare for our child, but not having a place to live now?"
The couple also said they will miss the bonds the family made with both staff and other families that work and use the Student Parent Center.