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Playground Vandalism Offers Bellevue Schools Chance to Create Better One

The playground at Grandview Elementary in Bellevue is still damaged, after it was set on fire earlier this month.

Three juveniles were arrested at the time. The current state of that case was not immediately known.

Meanwhile, the Bellevue Independent School District is planning to replace the damaged playground.

"It is going to be a big project," Superintendent Robb Smith said at this week's board of education meeting. "We are very excited about it."

Smith said Robert Ehmet Hayes & Associates, a Ft. Mitchell-based architecture firm, is currently working on design plans for the new playground, which will encompass the entire area, not just the smaller area where the playground equipment is located.

"We anticipate a $100,000 project, at a minimum," said Smith. "The playground was a total loss, so we do expect the insurance to cover what was destroyed. In addition, we have a matching grant for $30,000, and we will come up with $15,000. We would like to redo it in a grander effort."

Smith explained that the current plan is to put down a new surface ground-cover and then incorporate the playground with fitness stations and new basketball poles and nets. 

The damaged playground was used by Grandview students in kindergarten through fifth grade while a second playground is used by preschool students.

The new playground is not expected to be installed before the start of the new school year. Smith said that the district is hoping to raise money from other sources in addition to what is already on hand.

"We want to see what Ehmet comes up with next week as far as design," he said. "We will take it from there."

Other notes:

Two new principals in the district offered their first reports.

Grandview principal Angie Young reported on Grandview Readifest, set for August 10 from 4 to 7 p.m. During that time, physicals will be given by the Little Clinic located at the Bellevue Kroger. Physicals are required for students playing basketball and all students entering sixth grade. Up to sixty physicals will be paid for through a grant received by the Family Resource Center.

In addition, free Tdap vaccines (used to ward off whooping cough, diphtheria, and tetanus) will be provided by the Northern Kentucky Health Department.

Free haircuts will be offered by a local cosmetology school. In addition, hot dogs and drinks will be provided for everyone, and the Kona Ice Truck will be on hand for those who want icy treats.

Bellevue High School principal John Darnell reported on the preparatory night for the high school, which will be Monday, August 14, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. He said that booths with information will be there for students and parents.

-Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

Photo: Grandview Ele. playground damaged by fire (RCN)