Northern Kentucky University is the fastest-growing public institution in the Commonwealth and local leaders are going to hold Gov.-Elect Ernie Fletcher to his pledge to increase its state support.
The most tangible form that support is likely to take is a new 6,500-seat Special Events Center, identified by the Northern Kentucky Consensus Committee as the number one capital project on its wish list from the state government. The consensus committee consists of government, business and community leaders from nine Northern Kentucky counties.
The group has shown commendable consistency in recent years in being able to identify and work for projects that serve the common good. A $45 million regional events center on the NKU campus large enough to host basketball games and accommodate the university's commencement exercises has been on the priority list for several years. It moved to the leading spot on the group's urban project list this week.
Fletcher recognized the value and needs of NKU throughout his campaign. In an interview with The Enquirer the day after he won the election, he said the new center was one of the major capital projects he wants to see funded. Right now NKU doesn't have a facility on its campus large enough to hold its graduation ceremony. It has resorted to passing out its diplomas in borrowed space on the Ohio side of the river.
But the new center would be more than a graduation hall. Like most of the projects proposed by the consensus committee, it would benefit the entire region as a site for sporting events, concerts and more. Northern Kentucky University is a point of pride for the entire Commonwealth. This proposed facility is a long-needed upgrade in its facilities.
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