Gateway Starts Construction on Covington Urban/Metro Campus

College leaders, city, county and business leaders made a symbolic swing of the sledge hammer here today to officially begin construction on the Gateway Community and Technical College Urban/Metro Campus in downtown Covington.

The brief ceremony at 520 Madison Avenue marked the beginning of a complete renovation of the former Marx Gallery into the Gateway Technology and Design Center. Classes are expected to begin at the newly refurbished, 50,000-square-foot facility in August 2014.

Its a beautiful day in the neighborhood, said Lee Flischel, chair of the Gateway Community and Technical College Foundation board of directors, noting that the college was making good on a promise it made to the community in 2002 when the school was founded.

In 2009, Gateway, Northern Kentuckys only public, regionally accredited two-year community college, formed a partnership with local officials to assess urban educational needs, identify potential locations and begin the fund-raising process.

Last November, the college unveiled an Urban/Metro Campus Master Plan for an $82.5 million campus and said the Gateway Foundation and the college were acquiring nine properties in Covington to create the campus.

Today opens a new phase in the development of the Urban/Metro Campus, said Ed Hughes, Gateway president and CEO. we've transitioned from making plans to turning those plans into a reality. This day is a demonstration of the power of partnership. Without the commitment and support of the city, county, the business community, the Gateway Foundation, other public agencies, and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, we would not be here today. The college is deeply appreciative of all that support.

Rev. Richard Fowler, vice chair of the Gateway board of directors, said, Todays action is important not only to Covington but to all of the river cities because of the educational and economic development opportunities Gateways expansion will bring. This day is really about improving the future of the region.

Others participating in the construction kick-off included Sherry Carran, mayor of Covington; Steve Arlinghaus, Kenton County judge executive; Mike Mangeot, founder of Century Construction; John Hodge, president of Century Construction, and Brent Brunner, a principal of EOP Architects of Lexington.

Century Construction is the contractor for the renovation, and EOP is the architect/master planner.