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MU releases University Village inspection reports

By Heather Hourigan, Reporter, heather.hourigan@kmiz.com
Published On: Mar 05 2014 05:19:13 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 05 2014 12:00:00 AM CST
Inspectors working at University Village

KMIZ

COLUMBIA, Mo. -

Inspection reports were released by the University of Missouri Wednesday afternoon following the collapse of a walkway at University Village Apartments on February 22.

The collapse killed Lt. Bruce Britt, a 23-year-veteran of the Columbia Fire Department.

ABC 17 News requested inspection records dating back  10 years.

In 2008 a St. Louis architectural firm made recommendations to the university about the condition of University Village.

They discovered University Village buildings were in such despair that they did not believe renovations were an option, instead to demolish them.

The architects noted that not only were all of the walkways in need of repairs, but warned termite damage to a unit in building 705 made it uninhabitable.

They did note it was still being rented out, however.

"If someone says that a building shouldn't be inhabited because of termite damage specific - then you probably have a comprised situation where the integrity of the building is a situation," said Bryan Ninichuck with Wingate pest control.

The architects also pointed out it was not just one unit, but several that should not be inhabited in building 705.

In all the records the university gave ABC 17 News nothing indicated that structural repairs were made to building 705.

The university moved students out after 2011 citing safety concerns.

MU provided reports that resembled work orders and a chain of emails dating back to 2010 explaining the work that needed to be done.

The weekend of the balcony collapse that killed Britt, MU called THH Engineering to inspect all buildings in the University Village complex.

According to THH's report, of the 13 buildings on site, 6 building walkways are considered to be very questionable.

Engineers said 3 buildings' walkways were found to have complete section loss of steel and concrete deck.

Unless remedial action is taken, a catastrophic collapse could be imminent.

Wood frames now support those decks.

ABC 17 News reached out to the engineers to clarify whether this is enough remedial action to prevent the catastrophic collapse, but they have not returned calls.

The report also lists two other walkways to be in poor condition.

Students are still allowed to live in all of these buildings.

Building 707, the building affected in the February 22 balcony collapse, was inspected in 2011 and 2013.

In May 2013 a work order for repairs was issued.

MU spent almost $4,000 to repair two sections of concrete with the final completion date in July 2013.

Those repairs failed, 10 months later.

The paperwork does not clearly identify the company who completed the repairs.

According to the inspection on February 22's collapse, engineers said they are confident that the collapse was a result of concrete shear failure along the outer edge.

The loud "bang" residents reported prior to the collapse was most likely the sound from the shear failure itself, according to the inspection.

According to a 2008 MU graduate and family housing master plan that was never finalized, it stated that the University Village decks created a public safety hazard in their deteriorated state.

THH Engineering has also recently inspected all other MU facilities, citing that there are no current problems besides University Village.

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