Kemper Renovation Put On Hold
Behind the locked doors of the old Kemper Military Academy are vacated facilities with renovations no longer pending. The proposal to renovate and refurbish seven buildings at the old Kemper Military Academy in Boonville screeched to a halt this week.
"The deal had not been fully negotiated out, nothing has to stop and nothing has to start," said industrial development authority Ned Beach. "But, emotionally I'm sure it affects a lot of us, myself included. It was a real big disappointment."
Renovations to the school are no longer in Boonville's future, neither is the creation of 200 to 500 new jobs in the area.
"There was a lot of hope for this deal, there was a lot of hope for this development because it was going to be very positive for the town and for Kemper," Beach said.
The redevelopment would have turned the school's dining halls, offices, and dorms into restaurants, new offices and apartments. While the benefits for the community due to the construction seemed obvious, so was the controversy. If the measure was approved by voters, the city had plans for using $1 million to help fund the project. The Kemper Redevelopment Group said the plan to refurbish the old buildings was too controversial.
"There is controversy in every deal. There is controversy over the money, there is controversy over the usage of the buildings, there is controversy over the use of the ground," Beach said.
For now the buildings remain untouched at Kemper Military Academy. The announcement stating that the Kemper deal fell through was made Thursday by Jim Hackman of the Kemper Development Group.