Gateway Opens Cutting Edge Instructional Center As Part of Urban Metro Campus Expansion

Cool computer labs. Collaborative classrooms. Open and airy student study nooks and lounges. Its the demise of the old sit and get lectures and the birth of a 21st century instructional facility.

It is the newly opened Center for Technology, Innovation and Enterprise at Gateway Community and Technical Colleges Urban Metro Campus in Covington. Gateway will put the four floors of the active learning center on display today at 4 p.m. with a high-tech ribbon-cutting and grand opening.

The grand opening is the culmination of years of planning and teamwork by a dedicated group of community leaders, faculty, staff, students and Gateway supporters, all of whom worked tirelessly to transform a vision into a reality, said Ed Hughes, Gateway president/CEO.

Today, we dedicate this building to the future future students, future business and community leaders who will prepare here, and the vibrant economic future they in turn will build, Hughes added.

Lee Flischel, chair of the Gateway Foundation which owns the facility, said, This afternoon marks the most exciting 60 minutes in Covington in recent memory. Its not often that the city celebrates the opening of a new college classroom building on one corner a mere half-hour after breaking ground for another Gateway facility less than a block away. Covington's renaissance took a giant step forward today, and the Gateway Foundation is proud to play a pivotal role in the process.

Earlier in the afternoon, Foundation, college and local officials broke ground for the renovation Center for Professional Services at 440 Scott Boulevard. The building will re-open next spring and house the colleges cosmetology and massage therapy training programs.

Today's dedication ceremony for the Center for Technology, Innovation and Enterprise at 516 Madison highlighted the facility's high-tech aura as dignitaries navigated tablet computers to perform a virtual ribbon-cutting. The building houses Gateways computer and information technologies, instructional design and learning technology, and visual communication programs, as well as programs in business administration systems, criminal justice, education, and interdisciplinary early childhood education.

The facility's active learning environments are specifically designed to enhance student success and are a key part of Gateways Flexible Learning and Exploration space (FLEXspace) project, which garnered a $3.6 million, four-year First in the World program grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Brain science indicates learning spaces should be designed to support the ways the brain works, Hughes said. Evidence also suggests that environments impact behavior and are often barriers to behavioral change. In the Center for Technology, Innovation and Enterprise, we are partnering with Steelcase Education Solutions to implement Steelcase's active learning ecosystem.

The active learning ecosystem emphasizes a multi-sensory approach to teaching and learning that has been shown to increase engagement, promote deeper participation and maximize student achievement.

The 21st century classroom must nurture collaboration and hands-on learning, Hughes said, and this facility is specifically designed to achieve that. He added that the FLEXspace grant will enable the college to transform classrooms at the Boone and Edgewood campuses into similar active learning environments.

The Gateway Foundation purchased the space at 516 Madison in November 2012. Renovation began in July 2013, and the Center for Technology, Innovation and Enterprise opened for instruction in August 2014. Century Construction served as general contractor to implement plans designed by EOP Architects. Many Covingtonians remember the site as the former Marx Furniture Store.

Since 2002, Gateway has been working with a broad coalition of community organizations, entities, and business, government and community leaders to develop a comprehensive Urban Metro Campus with these goals:

To provide easy access to higher education for residents of Northern Kentucky's urban communities;
To serve as a catalyst for economic development; and
To provide a new source of talent for the regions employers.

The center dedicated today is the second building in Gateways Urban Metro Campus plan. The first, the former Two Rivers Middle School, was leased in 2009, acquired in 2010 and has been serving students since 2009.