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MU to seal off rear decks at Tara Apartments

Thursday, March 20, 2014 | 2:08 p.m. CDT; updated 2:30 p.m. CDT, Friday, May 9, 2014
MU announced Thursday that it will be sealing off the rear decks at the Tara Apartments.The move to restrict residents' access is a precaution so that engineering crews can get detailed looks at the decks.

This story has been updated to reflect that the decks will be sealed off as a precaution and the evaluations will begin next week as reported in an earlier version of the story.

COLUMBIA — Almost a month after the walkway collapse at University Village, MU has told residents of Tara Apartments that it is sealing off access to the complex's rear decks.

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An engineering firm, Trabue, Hansen and Hinshaw Inc., completed an inspection of buildings on campus after the University Village collapse in February. MU spokesperson Christian Basi said the engineering firm took a closer look at the Tara Apartments and recommended the decks be sealed off as a precaution to get detailed look at the decks.

The decks will be sealed off Friday and evaluations will begin next week. Engineers will evaluate the decks for signs of weathering, according to an email sent to Tara residents Thursday that was forwarded to the Missourian. 

"We are sealing those decks off so that residents will not access the deck," Basi said. "It will allow engineers to finish by next Friday."

Brackets will be used to secure the storm doors leading to the decks on the second and third floors. The decks will be accessible only in the case of an emergency, the email said. Basi said sealing the decks now would be less disruptive for residents as classes end for MU's spring break.

Tara Apartments is one of four university-owned apartment complexes, including University Village, designed to house graduate students and students with families. The 16-building complex is located off Stadium Boulevard on Ashland Road. It was built between 1982 and 1984, Basi wrote in an email Thursday. 

MU does not perform regularly-scheduled structural inspections of its buildings, according to previous Missourian reporting. The buildings are checked by maintenance workers during routine work requests made by residents, Basi said in February.

Supervising editor is Katherine Reed.


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