COLUMBIA — Manor House, an MU-owned graduate student housing complex, will close for renovations next spring.
Located on Hitt Street near the MU Memorial Student Union, the eight-story brick building for single graduate students will close in May 2015, according to the MU Department of Residential Life's website. It is one of MU's four University Student Apartments, designed for grad students or students with families.
The announcement comes a little more than two weeks after the school announced it would close and demolish another of its University Student Apartments. University Village, where part of a walkway collapsed Feb. 22, killing Lt. Bruce Britt of the Columbia Fire Department, will close June 30 and be torn down. The closure will displace the building's roughly 100 residents — many of them graduate students, some with children.
However, Manor House's closing is not related to a safety issue, nor is it a reaction to what happened at University Village, MU spokesman Christian Basi said. "Manor House has been slated for renovation for quite some time," he said.
In a 2012 MU Residential Life Master Plan, Manor House was described as needing:
- new windows and elevators
- better ventilation
- improvements in plumbing
- "major electrical service upgrades."
- construction of a new exit stair to eliminate a "dead-end corridor condition" or "major reconfiguration of each floor to meet life safety requirements."
A structural inspection of all MU-owned housing following the University Village collapse found no safety issues at Manor House, Basi said.
The closure of the two complexes would bring the university's available housing options for graduate students down to two: Tara Apartments and University Heights.
After the University Village walkway collapse, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin requested an assessment of MU's future campus housing needs, including how to deal with the shortage in graduate housing, Basi said. That process is ongoing.
Between 1997 and 2013, MU's grad student population increased 61 percent, from around 3,992 to more than 6,439, according to MU Institutional Research data.