Apartment balconies to be sealed off, inspected

The back balconies in the Tara apartments will be sealed off and inspected.

The University of Missouri will seal off back balconies in one university-owned apartment complex while a team of engineers conducts further inspections.

MU launched inspections on all university-owned properties after Columbia Fire Lt. Bruce Britt died in the University Village walkway collapse last month. Engineers were satisfied with all sites, except for the back balconies of the Tara apartments on Ashland Road in Columbia.

"As a precaution we are sealing off the decks, which will allow the engineers to have the time to do a more thorough inspection of those decks and then determine if there is any work that needs to be done," MU Spokesman Christian Basi said.

Basi stressed that Tara residents are in no immediate danger, but some are still concerned.

"I'm feeling a little uneasy, because now I feel like the first time they looked at it they didn't really look at it," Tara resident Hong Truong said.

"Whatever they need to do to make it safe, I'm okay with it. I just thought that it was already safe to begin with but I guess I was wrong."

Basi said they will start sealing off the balconies in the next few days, and they aim to have the secondary inspections done by the end of next week.

After the inspections, the engineers will make recommendations on what work, if any, needs to be done.

"We're sealing off their decks as a precaution, so there shouldn't be any concern at all. The engineers are going to do another inspection that will allow them to be a lot more detailed and determine what work needs to be done," Basi said.