Whether on or off campus, students often discuss and occasionally joke about how windy it is at NKU. If you were to ask a student why they think it’s so windy, though; you would get a variety of answers, depending on who you talk to. From talk of the campus’ elevation to the rumor of original developers placing buildings in a certain design to cause what many call the “wind tunnel effect” on our campus, answers are quite diverse.
Though the idea of the original developers creating the wind tunnel effect is a “nice story,” according to Larry Blake, assistant vice president of Facilities Management; the story is merely a rumor and nothing more.
“I think it is the nature of where we are,” Blake said.
For students who are looking for an answer as to why it’s so windy, Blake suggested to just look around.
“There’s not a lot here to block anything,” Blake said.
With an elevation of 853 feet, the city of Highland Heights is on top of a hill, which causes the wind patterns we feel on campus, according to Blake.
Some students, including freshman business informatics major Shawn Ravenscraft, don’t mind the wind.
“I live up on a hill anyway,” Ravenscraft said. “So I’m kind of used to it.”
Other students describe the wind on campus as “crazy,” like junior physical education major Joey Lay.
“It feels like a blizzard wind on campus, even during the summer,” said Lay.
Blake also explained that the reason that it may feel like the wind is stronger on some parts of campus is the way the wind cycles between the buildings. Blake compared it to the way the wind moves through the streets in the windy city of Chicago.
“When the wind moves through smaller areas, the velocity goes up,” said Blake.
According to Blake, in the past the campus has talked with Duke Energy about the possibility of putting a wind turbine on campus. A turbine, if possible, would have been able to create clean energy to run at least part of the campus. As it turns out though, the campus just isn’t consistently windy enough to make the turbine possible.
As cited previously the earliest developers of NKU’s campus had no plans of making it windy on campus but, according to Blake, to keep at least a consistent breeze on campus, could be a project for the future.
“It would be great to have a way to keep it windy. So we can use it,” said Blake.