Petition in support of relocating day care from University Village has hundreds of signatures

Saturday, March 8, 2014 | 6:44 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — An online petition urging MU to move the Student Parent Center day care away from University Village has received more than 200 signatures since it was created Friday. 

The day care for the children of graduate and undergraduate students is at University Village, where a walkway collapsed Feb. 22 and killed a firefighter.

A report by structural engineering firm Trabue, Hansen and Hinshaw Inc. released Wednesday indicated that the walkway of Building 602, which houses the center, was on the verge of "catastrophic collapse," and in need of immediate repair. Wooden supports have been installed beneath the walkway to provide extra stability. MU spokesman Christian Basi has said these supports will stabilize the walkways and keep them safe as the university decides the future of University Village.

According to previous Missourian reporting, parents whose children attend the day-care center have emailed MU officials asking that the center remain open but at a safer location. Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin responded to one email with assurance that the university was discussing plans for the day care and that it would make an announcement about its future soon. 

Kimberly Bodner, a clinical psychology doctoral candidate whose 4-month-old son attended the center before the collapse, created the online petition.

"We feel like our children are in danger," Bodner said. As a busy graduate student, Bodner said she feels that the day care is a vital resource that she and other parents need, she said.

After the collapse, though, she decided to take her son out of the day care. She said the idea of walking with her son underneath the walkways terrified her.

The petition is intended to keep the day care open but to move it to a location where parents feel comfortable leaving their children, Bodner said

By Saturday evening, the petition had 234 signatures.  

Bodner said she planned to print the petition and that she and other student-parents would present it to Loftin and the MU administration. For now, there is no set goal in terms of number of signatures.

Supervising editor is Edward Hart.

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