SIKESTON -- Following the highly disputed separation from Southeast Missouri State University and its higher education centers, Three Rivers Community College will now open a new site in Sikeston.
The Three Rivers Community College Center at Downtown Sikeston will be located at 103 E. Kathleen St. in Sikeston, a building that previously housed the Sikeston Head Start Center.
Although TRCC is still in verbal negotiations for a long-term lease, officials expect to sign contracts any day now, said Dr. Larry Kimbrow, TRCC executive vice president.
"I spent about three weeks looking at every vacant building in town, and it seems to fit our purposes," Kimbrow said. "And it's already configured with classrooms."
The nine 20 by 40 classrooms will work nicely, Kimbrow said. TRCC plans to add a computer lab, science lab, two interactive television networks and nursing classrooms.
Day and evening courses for freshmen and sophomores will be available at the Center at Sikeston starting with the fall semester, Kimbrow said.
Steve McPheeters, chair of the Bootheel Regional Training Group -- a consortium that allows companies to pool their training resources through TRCC and Southeast -- noted that group's classes will not be at the new TRCC Sikeston site.
"I have been assured by both presidents of the affected colleges the regional training group will have its classes at the Sikeston Area Higher Education Center," McPheeters said.
Currently there are 17 members from large businesses and industries in Scott, New Madrid and Mississippi counties that make up the Bootheel group.
On Monday TRCC students registered at the American Legion on Kingshighway in Sikeston; other special registration dates will follow, Kimbrow said.
Since February, when Southeast announced it was severing ties with Three Rivers and planning to take over operations of higher education centers at Kennett, Malden and Sikeston, TRCC has been lining up sites for its own centers.
Last week TRCC officials announced a new site in Malden -- the first of six centers planned by TRCC in the Bootheel area. Kimbrow said announcements are expected soon regarding other TRCC centers in Bernie, Campbell, Kennett and Portageville.