- Associated Press - Thursday, March 13, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The University of Missouri will demolish an apartment complex where a Columbia firefighter died when a walkway collapsed, and will close a student day care at the complex, school officials announced.

University Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin emphasized in his announcement Wednesday that engineers have found all buildings at the University Village Apartment Complex safe for occupancy. Still, Loftin said the 58-year-old complex will close June 30 in the interest of safety and will be razed soon after that.

Columbia fire department Lt. Bruce Britt died Feb. 22 when he was trapped by rubble while helping to evacuate residents after the partial collapse of a second-floor walkway.

Loftin said the graduate students and their families who live at the complex will be allowed to terminate their leases before June 30 without financial penalties.

Parents who had children at the Student Parent Center and were concerned about safety had started a petition to have the facility moved to a different site, which currently cares for 29 children.

Loftin also asked “several organizations on campus to begin discussing the feasibility of the future of child day care services on the Mizzou campus.”

Dorothy Atuhura, a University Village resident, said she’s glad the center is closing the “unsafe” place, even though she has no car to drive her 3-year-old son to day care.

“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, Missouri’s vice chancellor for student affairs, said in the news release.



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