Letter to the editor

It is an exciting time to be associated with Northern Kentucky University. As I begin my final year in graduate school I am amazed at all that has happened since I moved to Highland Heights four years ago. The soccer stadium was replaced with a parking lot. The student union was funded and built. The Bank of Kentucky Center was named and built. These are no small feats to have been accomplished by NKU.

Highland Heights has been changing in its own right. A new Fifth Third has been built. Our family owned Chinese restaurant has changed ownership. We just added a new gazebo to route 27.

More recently, Highland Heights and NKU have grown much more closely linked. With the annexation of the entire campus of NKU, Highland Heights has welcomed its university into the heart and soul of the city. This comes just prior to the combining of the police forces of Southgate and Highland Heights. So now Highland Heights has a larger police force to maintain and more employment taxes to allocate.

Highland Heights is like the fable of the giving tree. Over the past 40 years Highland Heights and its citizens have given much to the university. We have given our time, land and roads to the university and its students. As time has progressed, our land base in the city has decreased as NKU has bought houses and, in so doing, eroded Highland Heights’ tax base.

Now we are losing some of our neighbors and neighborhoods to the university. This was never more apparent than with the razing of the Hermann House with such little fanfare. It seemed a foregone conclusion that NKU would eventually outgrow its ability to utilize the majestic building, but as THE SINGLE MOST FAMOUS LANDMARK in Highland Heights it deserved so much more than an e-mail to our NKU accounts and a notice sent to Highland Heights city council. It was the signature building of the city.

As someone who has been affiliated with NKU for over 15 years in differing capacities, I would have relished the opportunity to walk through the building and say good-bye to the history of Highland Heights as we prepared for its future.

The future is coming quickly. I hope that NKU and Highland Heights can do a better job of growing together than they have recently. The Hermann House deserved a better farewell.

[i] Nick Vorholt

Graduate Student, 2009

Master of Public Administration [/i]