Gateways Proposed Urban Campus Identified As Regional Priority

Gateway Community and Technical Colleges proposed Urban Campus in Covington has been chosen as a key priority for the Northern Kentucky Region by the Northern Kentucky Consensus Committee.

The Northern Kentucky Consensus Committee was founded in 1989 at the request of the Northern Kentucky Consensus Legislative Caucus. The committees purpose is to create a priority list of capital projects requiring state funding and support that provide substantial regional benefit and set the table for private investment.

The committee consists of more than 70 representatives from business, government, non-profit and other community organizations in eight Northern Kentucky counties. Projects are studied, vetted and voted on by the committee. Not all projects make the list.

The general premise for including projects on the priority list is that each project should address a clear community need and provide substantial regional benefits to more than one community, said Committee Chairman Gary Beatrice of Beatrice Benefits in Fort Mitchell. The request for funding the listed projects sends a strong message to Frankfort that Northern Kentucky is united in its project needs.

The $52.8 million project encompasses the design and building of a major new campus in the urban core. Gateways commitment to build a new comprehensive Urban Campus in Covington to serve the regions urban core is consistent with the Vision 2015 plan and the Gateway/Kentucky Community and Technical College System mission to increase access to affordable postsecondary education and training where citizens live and work.

The current campus facilities on Amsterdam Road are outdated, inadequate and not accessible by bus to residents of the urban core. The proposed Urban Campus will be developed in Covington in the general area bounded by Third and Seventh Streets and Greenup and Madison. The college opened its initial facility in 2009 in the former Two Rivers Middle School on Scott Boulevard. In the Spring 2011 semester, nearly 1,000 students enrolled for classes at the site.

We are pleased that a group of citizens from across the entire eight-county region have again identified the Urban Campus project as a top priority for state funding. This project will transform the urban core and its benefits will be far-reaching throughout all of Northern Kentucky, said Gateway President/CEO Ed Hughes.

The proposed campus will serve the largest number of residents in the region who do not possess any college and/or have some college but do not have a college credential or degree. Officials have noted that the Urban Campus will generate considerable economic and community development in addition to the educational benefits to the residents.

The new Urban Campus is expected annually to reach 2,500 new students and provide entry into technical and career training as well as transfer-oriented programs leading to bachelors degrees in the regions four-year colleges and universities.

The facilities will also serve as a hub for dual credit programs for the urban high schools, a center for adult education and an anchor for the redevelopment of the urban business community. A campus master plan is being developed that will include opportunities for additional community input.