Architect Selected To Lead Development Of Gateway Urban Campus Master Plan

The Kentucky Department of Finance Division of Engineering has selected EOP Architects of Lexington as the lead firm to complete a Campus Master Plan for the Urban Campus that Gateway Community and Technical College has proposed for downtown Covington.

The team developing the plan also includes:
KLH Engineering of Covington;
Urban Collage, Inc., a nationally recognized urban planning firm headquartered in Atlanta with offices in Lexington;
M2D, a Lexington-based landscape architecture firm; and
Brown amp; Kubican, a structural engineering firm in Lexington.

Gateway announced in March it would seek $52.8 million in public funds for an Urban Campus to replace an antiquated Gateway facility on Amsterdam Road. Numerous groups have endorsed the project, including the Kenton County Fiscal Court, the City of Covington, the Kenton County Public Library, the board of Covington Independent Public Schools, South Bank Partners and the Northern Kentucky Consensus Committee.

Developing a master plan is the next step in campus development. The team selected by the Finance Cabinet includes highly experienced firms that bring considerable expertise on how to develop a new campus that will not only fit into the urban core but will also serve as a catalyst for even greater economic development in the area, said Ed Hughes, Gateway president and CEO.

EOP was founded 30 years ago and is an awarding-winning firm that previously designed the Nursing and Allied Health Center at Gateways Edgewood Campus and led the team that developed the master plan for the new Lexington campus of Bluegrass Community and Technical College. Like Gateway, BCTC is a member of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

Urban Collage has completed more than 350 urban design projects in 12 states. The firm brings a focus on the potential and partnerships associated with urban development and will help lead college and community involvement, academic planning and urban planning.

The city is really looking forward to working with EOP and its team on this project, said Jackson Kinney, Covington's community development director. Kinney noted the timing of Gateways work coincides with the city's preparation of a Center City Action Plan that is intended to provide a unifying strategy to guide revitalization efforts in the urban core. Development of Gateways urban campus in the heart of downtown will obviously be an extremely important element in that strategy, Kinney added.

Hughes said the master plan should be complete in April 2012 and noted the college expects preliminary design concepts by mid-autumn. The design team will be able to build on information provided by urban residents during seven community forums in 2010 and numerous other meetings with community groups over the past two years.

Gateway announced in May 2009 that it was forming a partnership with the Kenton County library and Covington public schools to create an Urban Campus that would make career and transfer education much more accessible to urban residents.

As an interim solution, the college began offering classes in the former Two Rivers Middle School building at 525 Scott Boulevard in Covington in August 2009. Enrollment there has climbed more than 1000 percent in just two years, to nearly 1,100 students last spring.

The demand for career and transfer education in the urban area is well documented, Hughes said. We have spent the last two years listening to the community about its dreams for a new campus serving urban residents. Our hope is that the new college campus and the development that will occur around it will be well integrated into a vibrant central city.