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UMKC students forced to move due to leak at Oak Place

Posted at 4:06 PM, Nov 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-17 19:51:56-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Some UMKC students have more to worry about than just finals week.

More than 200 students now have to move out of their apartment building, Oak Place Apartments.

UMKC released a statement that they recently discovered some PVC pipes had cracked and leaked into the building. The full statement can be found at the bottom of this story.

Due to water damage to the walls, floors and cabinets, the North Wing will be closed for the Spring semester. Students who live there now, need to find housing by January.

“It's frustrating mainly because everyone's getting ready to go on break,” UMKC junior Zachary Weber said. “It's not even a break because we're all studying for exams and so when you're being told all this during finals week, you've got more than finals to stress out about now.”

“Honestly, I’m graduating so it’s more work for me, so I have to move out and gotta find another place to live,” Binhan Nguyen said.

UMKC stated they’d be offering alternative housing options to all the students who were affected as well as moving crews to help relocate.

“They basically said we could move to the south building, we could move into the dorms, into the homes, and then we got the Hospital Hill Campus we could move into,” Weber said. “And they're looking for the easiest route for all of us.”

The University is investigating the cause of the problem, believing it stemmed from original construction before the University purchased the building. 41 Action News reached out to the contractors, but have yet to hear back.

Students are hoping to relocate before the holiday season.

“We'll see what happens, it's just a waiting game honestly,” Weber said.

UMKC stated the North Wing will reopen in May and then work on the South Wing will start.

The entire building is expected to be ready for students by next Fall.

Full statement from UMKC on the Oak Place Apartments:

"UMKC is making repairs to the Oak Place Apartments building. We recently discovered some PVC pipes in the building had cracked and leaked into the building.

The first phase of work -- fixing the leaking pipes -- is complete. We have inspected all potentially affected pipes in the laundry and kitchen plumbing risers and repaired or replaced damaged pipes.

We are now preparing for the second phase of the repairs, which will address water damage to the walls, floors, finishes and cabinets in apartment living areas.

UMKC is approaching these repairs with student needs in mind and will start the next phase of work In January, after the fall semester has concluded. The North wing will be closed during the spring semester and students will be relocated to other living spaces. The North wing will reopen in mid-May and then work on the South wing will begin. By fall semester, the entire building will be ready for students.

Because we know this repair process will create challenges and difficulties for our students, we are doing everything possible to make the process as easy for students as it can be. We will be offering alternative housing options to all affected students, we will arrange for moving crews to assist in relocating students and we will be looking for other ways to support them during this time.

UMKC is still investigating the root cause of the problem, which we believe stems from the original construction before UMKC purchased the building."