The Libla Family Sports Complex on the Three Rivers College Poplar Bluff campus recently held its inaugural events. There was a ribbon cutting, tours of the facility, Alumni Reunion activities, and Lady Raiders and Raiders basketball games. In all, more than 2,000 people attended the opening events.
The ribbon cutting, held at 3 p.m. that day, was well attended by Three Rivers College faculty, staff, and leadership, as well as members of the community.
“I thought we had an excellent turnout for the ribbon cutting and the games that night,” said Three Rivers Raiders Basketball Coach Gene Bess. “There were a lot of people here and we were pleased with that,” said Bess.
The 60,000-square-foot Libla Family Sports Complex seats 3,000-plus and is now the home of the College’s Raiders and Lady Raiders basketball teams.
“This is the best basketball facility in our region and one of the best in the country,” said Bess. “It’s a great moment for our community and our College to have such a fine sports venue for the Raiders.”
The Libla Family Sports Complex is the new home of the Gene Bess Court and is also convertible into a three-court facility suitable for holding practices and regional high school basketball tournaments.
“We’re proud of our athletic squads at Three Rivers, especially the long list of achievements that Coach Bess has given to us during his tenure here,” said Dr. Wesley Payne, President of Three Rivers College. “We’re so excited to be able to give our coaches, student athletes, and fans this state-of-the-art facility.”
“I think it’s awesome,” said Allen Brooks, Three Rivers Endowment Trust’s Capital Campaign committee member and season-ticket holder. “A lot of people put in countless hours here, and this is the proof of it. It’s a beautiful facility, and we couldn’t be happier with it.”
Many of the people responsible for the funding of the new facility were on hand to enjoy its opening day, including members of the Libla family, representatives for the Bob Kitterman family, Booster Club members, the TRC Board of Trustees, and many more.
“The name Libla Family Sports Complex includes the word ‘family’ and for us that means more than the Libla Family,” said state Sen. Doug Libla, who was speaking on behalf of the Libla family at the ribbon cutting. “That family includes the residents of Butler, Carter, Ripley, and Wayne counties, the four counties that form the TRC taxing district. It includes College donors, supporters, employees, students, and alumni. It includes the communities the College serves and the workforce that we train. All of those will benefit from this great facility.”
“Three Rivers has been a vital force in the education and development of our area,” said Rodney Moore of the Bank of Grandin, a major contributor to the complex project and representative for the Bob Kitterman family. Kitterman was one of the founding members of the TRC Board of Trustees.
Three Rivers College is committed to contributing to the quality of life in Southeast Missouri with quality, affordable higher education opportunities and community services that support and encourage the economic, civic, and cultural vitality of the region. For more information about college and workforce programs and upcoming events, visit trcc.edu.