In the spring of 2017, after nearly 30 years of usage, the old “blue and white” playground structure that had been enjoyed by thousands of children had gradually fell into disrepair. David Morris, long-time Director of the Morehead Parks and Recreation Department knew something had to be done. “That structure was put in by Gametime 30 years ago and has been a favorite of the public for my entire time here at the Park, but it was time for it to go,” said Morris. He, together with his staff and Mayor Trent, came up with a plan to replace the aging structure with a new and modern version. Again, Gametime, working with DWA Recreation (formerlly David Williams and Associates), worked hand in hand with Parks and Recreation, and designed a bigger, better and more challenging playground structure along with several smaller stand alone pieces to accentuate the main structure.
When Doug Morgan learned of the project he called Mayor Trent and encouraged he and the City to apply for a Land/Water/Conservation (LWC) grant to put toward the project. Morgan, who sits on the LWC Board, has always encouraged cities in his region to apply. “It’s (LWC Grant) a great thing, another avenue for smaller cities like Morehead get some money for recreation,” said Morgan, who also noted that the city pool had originally been purchased with funds from the LWC grant nearly 50 years ago. Mayor Trent and his team then went to work and created a grant proposal that Mayor Trent presented to the Kentucky Department of Local Government’s LWC Grant Board in June 2017. Mayor Trent was successful in getting the grant for $75,000, which was half of the cost of the playground and basketball court resurfacing project.
Once the City recieved the official letter from Governor Matt Bevin congratulating them on the award, they had to wait on the “green light” from the U.S. Parks Service before beginning construction. The process was delayed several times up until Doug Morgan reached out to Governor Bevin and his field rep for our area, Aaron Thompson, as well as U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell’s office for help. That help arrived in the form of Thompson and Senator McConnell’s new field rep, Megan McCain, who were able to make the necessary connections between the state and federal agencies in order for the City to go ahead with construction. Following the 10 day construction phase, the playground and basketball courts were re-opened to the public on Monday, July 16 and have recieved rave reviews from many children and their parents who have been visiting since the re-opening.
The City is planning an official “Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting” ceremony in the coming weeks, so stay tuned to Mayor Trent’s and the City’s Facebook pages.