Gateway College to host design workshop to determine reuse of Covington church

COVINGTON, Ky. — Gateway Community and Technical College is asking for the public’s input to determine how it will reuse a nearly 150-year-old Gothic building that served as the longtime home of a former church.

Participants in a design workshop, or charrette, on Thursday, Feb. 13 will help develop a new plan for First United Methodist Church in Covington.

“Since we acquired it, we have said that this church would be used for community outreach. We want the community to tell us how they would like to use it,” said Ed Hughes, president and CEO of the college.

While the it wasn't purchased by Gateway until November 2012, the building hasn't been used for official church business in several years, according to Amber Decker, the director of grants and contracts for the college.

Decker said the building at 501 Greenup Street is still used to host and serve meals to homeless people on Sunday nights. That's part of the reason the college wants to ensure the community has a say in what is done with the space and how it looks, Decker said.

"We want to make sure what we're doing isn't duplicating what’s already being offered in the area," she said, adding that the building is just one of nine properties the school has acquired as part of a bigger campus development plan. "We also want to make sure members of the community have a voice in what's this important space will be."

The charrette on Feb. 13 is a hands-on workshop that will bring citizens, community leaders and the college community together to create a new vision for the property.

The workshop is scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. at the Kenton County Public Library on Scott Boulevard in Covington. Free parking is available at the library.

Participants will help produce draft concepts and initial architectural plans for space configuration of the building with the assistance of officials from the organizations Sacred Places (PSP) and the Northern Kentucky American Institute of Architects.

“The church is a beautiful, historic, Gothic structure built in 1867. Our organization is happy to see that Gateway wants the church to continue to serve the community,” said Bob Yeager, president of PSP, a nonprofit organization based out of Philadelphia, Pa.

The planning services for PSP were retained with funding raised through the Gateway Community and Technical College Foundation.

Gateway College and PSP representatives will offer public tours of the former church space between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on the night of the workshop. Tours will originate at the Kenton County Public Library. That the building is not currently 100 percent handicap accessible.

If you have questions regarding the event, please contact Laura Kroeger, vice president for resource development and external affairs and executive director of the Gateway Foundation at or (859) 442-1177.

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