Kemper Development receives national recognition

The Kemper Campus Redevelopment has received national recognition. The award given was one of the six awards at the National University Economic Development Conference which was one of many dozens of projects that were evaluated. The award was given at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Library and Learning Center on the Kemper Campus. Local resident Jim Gann who has been very instrumental in getting the Campus redeveloped received the award. Mayor Julie Thacher said that Gann is a 'hometown boy' who they are very proud of. "Jim is a very special person. He has been helping us with many projects in town. He is one you want to be on your team," Thacher said. "We think this is a beginning for a lot of great things." Brent Bates from State Fair Community College said it was not surprising that this project would receive national recognition. He also said that partnerships are the key these days of getting things done. "We kind of take it for granted since we have a lot of partnerships," Bates said. "This is not the norm nationwide." Senator Kurt Schaefer said that he got involved with the project later in its life and said that he has been grateful for being part of it. "This project involves a lot of my favorite things such as Boonville, State Fair Community College and the University of Missouri Development Program. As the chairperson on the Missouri Senate Appropriations Commitee I go around the state and work on a lot of projects in many places. Some are successful, some are not, despite people's heart felt best efforts. They do not get the sort of partnership that you have here. I know this is the very first piece of this innovative project," Schaefer said. EDA Project Director of the state of Missouri, Dr. David Smith said this project was really a creative and effective project. "There were two projects out of the six awards given that stood beyond the rest and this being one of them, repurposing a campus like this and doing all the things to bring all the stake-holders. It was brought economic prosperity to the town that has been very benefical to the town," Smith said. Smith also said that Gann was very instrumental in bringing all the stakeholders together in this project. "This is an awesome project as everyone knows. We are so excited as we work hard to bring this to fruition and the opportunities that are out there that we have yet to close on. If everything comes to fruition we may have to contemplate building buildings. I am so thrilled that State Fair committed and the city had the resources to make this happen," Gann said the people of Boonville will get to vote on a half-cent sales tax on November 6 to help with future campus developments. "We are trying to make connections with entities around town to try to get them to be a part of this project because we think this will be critical for what we will do," Gann said.