Kemper Center: Decision Time for County Officials

May 11, 2024 2p 

(WGTD)---Kenosha county officials are mulling over how to proceed now that a consultant has finished his assessment of the Kemper Center, the former girls’ school on Kenosha’s lakefront that’s been a Kenosha County park for several decades. The property includes the Anderson Arts Center.

While the historic site is owned by the county, it’s run by a non-profit with a subsidy from the county.

Alex Keen is a consultant who specializes in analyzing these types of properties. Keen told the county board last week that the buildings need fixing and are underutilized. "You have options and you have choices and you all have to make a decision," Keen said. "And they're going to have financial and political risks but that's just the name of the game with these properties."

Keen said he hopes the county will act to preserve the site. "We're hoping it can be preserved for generations to come." 

Keen is suggesting that a full architectural assessment be performed, and that the county decide if it wants to take over management itself or extend its soon-to-expire contract with the existing non-profit.

Kemper Center traces its roots to the 1860s.