Gateway Foundation Announces $100,000 Grant for Urban/Metro Campus

The Gateway Community and Technical College Foundation announced today it has received a $100,000 grant from the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee, for the colleges Urban/Metro Campus.

We extend our deepest gratitude to the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts for this major gift that will be used to help develop the downtown campus, said Gateway Community and Technical College President/CEO Ed Hughes. It is an important addition to the momentum we've already established among private donors.

Hughes added that Gateway has raised more than $2.6 million of a $5 million initial amount set by the Gateway Foundation to support Urban/Metro Campus development and scholarships. In addition, the college has supported development with $350,000 for the campus master plan and $10 million in Phase I development costs.

This campus is crucial to the economic development of the region by creating a ready workforce, helping families out of poverty through higher wage jobs, and boosting the economy with new business development around the campus area, said Heidi Jark, managing director of the Foundation Office at Fifth Third Bank .

Gateways Urban/Metro Campus has been in development for more than 12 years and is intended to make a college education more accessible to Northern Kentucky residents living in the urban river cities. More than 80 percent of urban residents aged 25-64 have no college credential, leaving them unprepared to compete for today's high wage, high tech jobs.

With nine of 10 jobs requiring some level of education and training beyond high school, it is imperative that the urban core residents have greater access to high quality and low cost education and training, Hughes said. That is our primary purpose, but campus development is already igniting a renaissance in residential living, retail and general economic development in the urban core. In the last quarter alone ground was broken for two new residential complexes; coffee shops and restaurants have opened; and major developments such as The Hotel Covington are closer to construction.

Gateway and its Foundation announced a comprehensive plan in November 2012 to purchase nine properties that would comprise the Urban Metro Campus. Phase 1 has begun with the renovation of the former Marx Furniture store into the Gateway Design and Technology Center. Three other facilities will be renovated and occupied by January 2015 with other properties to follow.

In all, the Urban Metro Campus project will renovate seven existing buildings and build one new facility over the next three-to-six years at a total project cost of over $81 million.