Inspections, Repairs at Tara Apartments Incomplete

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COLUMBIA - University officials sealed doors to Tara Apartment units as a safety precaution, but a timeline for inspections and any necessary repairs had not been set as of Friday morning.

The University of Missouri initially told KOMU 8 News repairs to the Tara Apartments would be complete by Friday, March 28. However, when KOMU 8 News spoke with MU spokesperson Christian Basi Friday morning he said that date was a mistake. He said the university was still just inspecting the apartments and didn't know when the tenants' decks would be fixed or if they even needed to be fixed.

Most of the residents appeared to be gone on spring break Friday morning, but three people who were home told KOMU 8 News they didn't realize the doors to their back decks were going to be sealed.

"We just found it yesterday so we don't know when they did it," Tara resident Xieng Li said. "Yesterday with the storm and we wanted to check from there what happened outside when we found the door was sealed."

Basi said sealing off the doors was the first step to ensuring the complex is safe for all its residents. He said the next will be the inspections, but said those have not started yet. About a week ago, the university told KOMU 8 News that inspections revealed small fixes were needed at the apartments, including repairs to the apartments' screen doors. 

On Friday, Basi said the inspectors are backlogged with campus properties to inspect so sealing the doors was the most appropriate measure until the strucutres could be investigated.

"Residential life is communicating with them via email, but I don't know about face-to-face contact," Basi said.

Even with the contact being made, it appears not all residents are receiving the notices. Complex managers sent out a notice on March 13 to residents that stated there was a problem with the screen doors out to the decks.

The MU-owned apartment complex primarily houses graduate students. It is on Ashland Road near Stadium Drive.

The university began investigating the conditions of the university owned apartments after a walkway collapse at University Village killed a Columbia firefighter.

Since the tragedy, Li said he feels the university will make inspections and communication with residents a bigger priority.