Thursday, July 13, 2000

Renovation gives center new life

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Children at the Northern Kentucky Community Center helped dedicate its newly renovated recreation room and learning center Wednesday with glasses of punch and trays of cookies.

        When not enjoying the edibles, the children conferred with McGruff the Crime Dog and played with a wooden train set and other toys in the newly painted, expanded and carpeted room. Hundreds of Eastside children are expected to use the room, which benefited from a year-long, $20,000 sprucing up.

        “They just love it,” Executive Director Rollins Davis said of the renovations. “It's clean. It's bright. It gives them more respect for the place.”

        The community center, 824 Greenup St., once housed the Lincoln Grant School, a segregated school for black children. Pictures from that time now grace the walls of the recreation room.

        Celeste Hill, 28, of Covington, loves these pictures and the sense of history that they imbue. Her father attended Lincoln Grant School, which remained segregated until the mid-1960s.

        As a youngster, she visited the community center; now she coordinates summer youth activities.

        “It's history,” she said. “It's something that ... I was never a part of. Now I am.”

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