Gateway and Sixth District School Plan to Rebuild Fire-Damaged Playground

Gateway Community and Technical College and Covington's Sixth District School will host a community involvement day Saturday, July 21, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the elementary school to create plans to rebuild the schools fire-damaged playground.

Gateway and Sixth District were engaged in a fund-raising effort to add a new swing set to the play area before it was partially destroyed by fire June 24. Gateway and Sixth District are partners in the Business Education Success Team program sponsored by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

We had initially planned for July 21 to be swing-set installation day, said Heather Abbott, Gateways BEST partnership chair. The fire has delayed our plans but hasn't dampened our spirits, so we've turned the day into a community involvement event. The playground was built in 2001 with community input and support. Our committee needs time, talent and sweat equity from the community now more than ever to recreate a fun, safe and engaging community asset.

Participants in the July 21 event will be able to sign up as future volunteers as well as contribute ideas for how the playground can be used for learning as well as for play.

We've talked about things like a learning garden where children could plant seeds to watch them grow or a painted mural on the pavement, Abbot said. Were interested to find out what people who use the playground regularly would want to have there.

People will also have a chance to contribute to the rebuilding fund, with the added attractions of a dunking booth, a plant adoption opportunity, Kona ice refreshments and an opportunity to win Reds tickets.

We may even put people to work staining and sealing the remaining structure, but that depends on the status of the structure by then, Abbott said. Regardless, there will be plenty of opportunities for people to help, and everyone with an interest in children, Covington or fun is invited to attend!

To volunteer for the playground project, contact Abbott at 859-815-7634 or heather.abbott@kctcs.edu.