MU Chancellor Announces Plan to Build New Child Care Center

4 years 2 months 1 week ago Thursday, May 15 2014 May 15, 2014 Thursday, May 15, 2014 2:16:00 PM CDT May 15, 2014 in News
By: Lee Anne Denyer, KOMU 8 Digital Producer and Shay McAlister, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin announced Thursday the university will build and operate a new child care center on campus.

The university announced in March the Student Parent Center would be torn down, following a walkway collapse at the University Village apartments where the center was housed. The walkway collapse killed Columbia Firefighter Lt. Bruce Britt February 22. The collapse sparked the evaluation of the safety of campus facilities.

Loftin created a task force to determine the need for a new center earlier this year after parents petitioned and protested the center's closing. The task force charged with establishing the need found graduate and professional students, as well as faculty members, are the primary supporters of the center.

MU Student Parent Center parent Kimberly Bodner said she is excited to hear the news, but  she still has concerns and is hoping the university puts more thought into which department the facility is under and affordability.

Loftin said in a news release the university will seek requests from private developers to build and operate the new child care center. He said the plan is to lease the property to a private company at "essentially no cost" to the developer with the expectation the operator will provide child care at a low cost to MU students, faculty and staff.

The current Student Parent Center is scheduled to close June 30, the same day the University Village Apartments is set to close.

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