Columbia clients react to impending moving of state agencies

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COLUMBIA - Several state agency offices in Columbia are likely to move out of the current location at Vandiver Drive. It took many clients at the state agencies by surprise.

A total of eight state agencies, including the Department of Mental Health, Department of Health and Senior Services and Department of Corrections’ Probation and Parole office, have been sharing the building for more than a decade.

Some clients said they didn't realize the agencies would move until Wednesday. One client, Glynn Thacker, said he visited the parole office every couple of weeks.

"Just another thing that adds trouble to my day. I walk here or probably use public transportation to get here on time. The time I need to get is probably gonna be a problem to where they're moving the office. How I can get there on a bus? Probably a problem and cost me more time if I can get there at all," Thacker.

He said he won't be the only one affected, and he was surprised to find out about the move from a newspaper instead of from the office.

But it's not as much big news to the employees working in the building.

Several employees told KOMU 8 News they've been aware of the move for months, but they've been told to not to speak about it.

One employee with the Department of Mental Health office said she would feel sad to move to other location.

Ryan Burns, director of communications for the state’s Office of Administration, said in an email "The Office of Administration is working to locate new spaces for the state agencies located in the Vandiver building, and is currently in negotiations to relocate those employees."

She also said, "It was our intention to stay in the building going forward; however, through the lease renewal process the lessor was able to find a tenant that has agreed to pay more than the State of Missouri,"

There's no further information on when and where these state agencies will move yet.