Gus Sheehan Park Reopens After $200,000 Upgrade

COVINGTON, Ky. – The City of Covington unveiled $200,000 in improvements to the reopened Senator Gus Sheehan, Jr. Park Friday afternoon.

Improvements include new playground equipment, a new picnic shelter and picnic tables, a new basketball court and a redesigned parking lot.

Located at the northeastern edge of Devou Park, Sheehan Park serves the Botany Hills neighborhood. The City wanted to create new recreational opportunities for the neighborhood after the park closed four years ago.

“It has taken some time but Gus Sheehan Park looks amazing thanks to the feedback we received from the community and the guidance of the Devou Properties Board and the Devou Park Advisory Council,” Mayor Sherry Carran said.

“Input from Botany Hill residents led to the park’s current design layout and the addition of top-notch amenities. Especially helpful was a sketch drawn by Otto Reser in March 2013. Otto is now on the seventh grade basketball team at St. Agnes and will no doubt put the basketball court to good use.”

The upgrades were generously funded by the Board of Devou Properties, Inc., which oversees the operation and management of Drees Pavilion, and recommended to the Covington Board of Commission by the Devou Park Advisory Committee, chaired by Bob Rothert.

“The Drees Pavilion at Devou Memorial Overlook is proud to have helped fund another park improvement. From the shelter to the basketball court, kids and families will love the revamped park,” Board President Barbara Drees Jones said.

The City was forced to close the park in 2012 due to safety concerns. The infrastructure of the 30-year-old pool was severely deteriorated and past the point of repair. The pool was filled in with concrete and is now the new basketball court.

The City and its contractor, Logan Creek, worked with Sanitation District No. 1 to address the infrastructure issues by improving drainage and grading at the park, which sits in a downhill area below Parkway Avenue.

“Because this site is in a small valley, there have always been drainage issues that create a lot of challenges for infrastructure projects,” said Jessica Moss, the City’s project manager. “We’ve made a lot of site modifications in an effort to reduce those issues in the future while still providing recreational amenities for the neighborhood.”

The park is named in honor of West Covington native Senator Gus Sheehan, Jr. A longtime lawyer and newspaper publisher, Sheehan served parts of four decades in the Kentucky legislature, representing Kenton County.

“I believe Gus Sheehan would be very proud to see the park today and to know that it will be enjoyed by the children and families of the neighborhood he called home,” Carran said.

Several members of the Sheehan family were present to honor Senator Sheehan, who passed away in October 2000, including his son, retired Kenton County Circuit Court Judge Martin J. Sheehan, and his daughter, Patricia Sheehan, who spoke on behalf of the family at the ribbon cutting ceremony.