Oakley and Eva Farris Invest in Gateways Urban Campus

Gateway Community and Technical College said today that Covington philanthropists Oakley and Eva Farris will provide $500,000 to create a child development center at the colleges proposed Urban Campus in downtown Covington.

The commitment will serve as a challenge grant to be matched $2 for $1 by the college to generate a total of $1.5 million that will be used to build a model child development center to help meet student needs for high quality child care in the urban core. The proposed center also will serve as a model teaching center for the colleges early childhood development education program.

The Farrises commitment to improving the quality of life for Covington and its citizens is well known, and we are delighted that they have chosen Gateway as a means to continue their investment in the future of our community, said Ed Hughes, Gateway president/CEO. Their investment is another indication of community support for the entire Urban Campus initiative.

Without a good educational system, our society is doomed, Mr. Farris said in explaining the couples commitment to Gateway.

Hughes announced the commitment today during the regular monthly luncheon meeting of the Covington Business Council where plans for the campus were shared. EOP Architects of Lexington have been hired to create a master campus plan that will include the child development center. Todays presentation featured examples of urban campuses in other cities and the impact such campuses have on their communities.

Many of our current or would-be students are parents, and one of the biggest obstacles they face in enrolling and staying in college is the need for child care, Hughes said. The Farrises commitment will enable a model child development center to be incorporated into the Urban Campus design. On-site child care will further encourage urban students to enroll at Gateway for career or transfer education.

The child development center also would house the colleges early childhood development program that trains day care professionals. The center would be open to Gateway students, faculty, staff and the community.

The center, which we intend to name after Eva and Oakley once the funds are raised, will give young children the start they need to help them enter the public schools ready to succeed, Hughes added. It will be an enduring legacy to the future from an extremely caring and benevolent couple.