Still no future plan set for Student Parent Center in University Village

Center compares to children's center at Texas A&M

COLUMBIA, Mo. - It's been almost a week since the University of Missouri announced it would demolish University Village in June, including the Student Parent Center on site. 

At the time, MU couldn't tell parents if it plans to reopen or move the center. It's been an issue parents using the facility have been fighting for with a petition. As of Monday afternoon, the petition received more than one thousand signatures.

ABC 17 looked into similar programs at other SEC schools.  One stood out, the Beck Gates Children's Center at Texas A & M.

You'll remember Chancellor Bowen Loftin previously served as the president at A&M. There, the Becky Gates Children's Center is located just behind university apartments on its campus - similar to University Village's center.

However, the Becky Gates Center houses 165 children.  The SPC at MU is licensed to care for up to 44 children.  SPC. Doors are open to children at one to five at A&M, while MU's accepts children ranging from one-month-old to five years old.  Both are open to university families.

The director A&M's center says it's an exclusive resource used only by students, staff, and faculty affiliated with the University. If the program no longer existed, Kisha Lee said it would be devastating.

"For the undergraduate and graduate students who's children are here, it allows them to attend classes and do their research without having to worry about their kids," Lee said.

A parent advocate of MU's Student Parent Center, Naomi Clark, hopes the connection between the schools means Chancellor Loftin is familiar with the needs of the SPC and will work with them to develop a plan for its future.

"I think MU can do better than this," Clark said. "I think we have too many people here to not come up with a solution. I'm hopeful that we will get it figured out."

Last Thursday, Clark sent an e-mail directly to the Chancellor. The parents want to meet with him without media presence, hoping to get a free-flowing discussion without any pressure. As of Monday evening, they still had not heard back.

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