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It was three years in the making, but Grant County High School now is one of three schools in the state to have a rappelling tower.
The process started when Sgt. Major Charles Duffee first came to Grant County High School to help start a junior ROTC program.
“When superintendent Michael Hibbett was hired, I asked him to consider building the tower,” Duffee said. “He unequivocally thought it was a good idea and that he would support it so the students would have a training apparatus that would instill confidence and attention to detail.”
Soon thereafter, Duffee went in front of the Grant County Board of Education with two students, then senior Michael Kelly-Walker and freshman Jacob Ashcraft, to detail their plan for the tower. It was approved unanimously.
Construction started on July 7 and the tower was dedicated on Nov. 7.
“It will greatly enhance our ability to teach young people and cadets how to depend on their actions and be responsible for their own actions,” Duffee said. “It will give them confidence to believe in their abilities and what they’ve been taught.”
The tower is 55 feet tall and allows cadets to rappel 42 feet.
The tower was built with help from the 478th Combat Engineers out of Fort Thomas, the Williamstown and Dry Ridge Fire Departments, and the JROTC boosters. Ralph Kuechler, the vice president of the boosters, spent numerous hours on the tower’s construction.
“I appreciate all the help and assistance from the superintendent, the board, the school and the community,” Duffee said.