City purchase is new home for Three Rivers College, KPD still at temporary location

KENNETT, MO (KAIT) – Kennett Mayor Jake Crafton signed an agreement Wednesday morning for the city to lease a building to Three Rivers College.

The city originally purchased the 25,000 square ft. building that previously housed Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), an American technology company acquired by Xerox.

The city planned to use the building to consolidate the Kennett Police and Fire Departments and city administration offices at one location.

"The council and myself, we feel like (Three Rivers College leasing the facility) is going to be a much better benefit to the City of Kennett, the citizens of Kennett than using it for a government complex," Mayor Crafton said.

Ann Matthews, the director of the Three Rivers Kennett Center, says preliminary reports indicate the relocation from the 10,000 square ft. building to the 17,000 square ft. available at the old ACS building will give the school the opportunity to increase the number of classes from six to 10, and expand academic programs for the 300 students who attend the college.

"The facility we're at is a little on the small side," she said. "We're growing in population every semester and we needed a bigger facility."

The move also means the Kennett Police Department will continue to share limited space at City Hall with city administration. KPD has been in a temporary location at City Hall since February 7 after a mold infestation in the building attic forced the department to relocate from the station at 200 East 2nd Street.

"We hear little gripes from the PD, but right now everybody's able to function," said Mayor Crafton. "It's not an ideal situation for them, but most of the work is out in the streets."

The City Council and the council building committee will discuss housing options for the police department, the building budget and the fate of the vacant station over the next several weeks.

"We'll have an estimate to clean it up, an estimate to demolish it, or option to sell the property as is," Mayor Crafton said.

Matthews says Three Rivers College administration has not set a move-in date because moving and renovation planning is still in the preliminary stages.

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