COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ.)
The University of Missouri's Coalition of Graduate Workers is speaking up about the university's decision to demolish Manor House Apartments.
In an email the university said, the building has approximately $13.6 million in deferred maintenance, and it’s no longer feasible to continue operating it.
However, outreach officer Mike Olson with the Coalition of Graduate Workers says, he spoke to residents in the apartment who see things differently.
"They're residents who say we didn't know about these so-called maintenance problems so I think the situation is being a bit exaggerated slightly by the university in order to justify the rash decision," Olson said.
In a press release, graduates argue university officials made the decision without input from any of the residents.
Olson said, "The residents weren't adequately consulted, their input was not solicited in any meaningful way prior to the announcement."
However, earlier this month spokesperson for MU Christian Basi says they held multiple meeting opportunities for students to address their concerns.
"We've had multiple meeting opportunities for the students. We had a couple of meetings that we were inviting the students to where they could come in masks," Basi said.
The organization also feels the school is taking graduate homes away from them and leaving them with no other option but to find other housing which can be difficult.
The Coalition of Graduate Workers is an organization that represents the workforce of graduate teaching and research assistant for MU.
The students say unfortunately this is not the first time the University made a decision to take something away from them.
According to the press release in 2014, Mizzou closed the Village Apartments another graduate building at the school, and never committed to replacing it.
"What the university failed to do is commit to replacing University Village. A one-for-one with new apartments or newly required apartments," Olson said.
The foundation said if the school demolishes Manor Apartments, the university will demonstrate its lack of regard for its graduate workers.
The organization continues to push to save the graduate apartment but they say they need the communities to help.
They're asking the community to spread awareness through social media and by calling the Department of Residential Life at 573-882-7275 to express their concerns about the closure of Manor Apartments.
The university says the demolition work will be put out for bids in the coming months, so there's no set date for demolition and they have no plans to replace the building.