Gateway-Sixth District BEST Partnership Celebrates Re-Opening of Elementary School Playground

Gateway Community and Technical College and Covington's Sixth District Elementary School will celebrate the reopening of the Maryland Millennium Playground Friday, Oct. 19., at 10 a.m.

The playground, located adjacent to the school at 18th and Maryland Streets in the Austinburg neighborhood of Covington, was severely damaged by a fire in June. Gateway and the elementary school, who are partners in the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce's Business Education Success Team program, were already engaged in a fund-raising effort to install an additional swing set at the playground.

After the fire, the partners stepped up their fund-raising to be able rebuild the playground, which serves as a neighborhood gathering area. Led by Heather Abbott, a student affairs specialist at Gateway's nearby Urban Center, the fund drive raised more than $10,000 through a combination of individual donations and grants.

The support was heart-warming, said Abbott. Children at Sixth District raised over $800 in a penny war, and Gateway employees contributed $2,500. We worked with Keep Covington Beautiful on a Place Matters mini-grant for $2000 and also received a $5,000 Keep America Beautiful grant through Lowes. The funds enabled our team to install the new swing set and rebuild the playground, with construction help from the U.S. Navy Seabees Unit NMCB26. New landscaping started this summer, thanks to community volunteers.
The public is invited to the grand re-opening celebration Friday.

The spirit of this community really enlivens this corner of Covington, Abbott said. The re-opening is not only a way to say thank-you but also is a tribute to all the children, sponsors, donors and volunteers who made it all happen.

For more information on the re-opening, contact Abbott at 859-815-7634 or heather.abbott@kctcs.edu.