Gilmore Lane Elementary School gets first playground ever

The playground is dedicated to Avery and Aariden Hooper. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The playground is dedicated to Avery and Aariden Hooper. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - For the first time at one Jefferson County Public elementary school, children are getting the chance to play on a playground. That doesn't sound like a big deal at first, but this school has been around since Harry Truman was president.

Gilmore, in the Lynnview neighborhood, was built in 1952 and it never had a playground until now.

"No swings, no slides, not even a simple climbing structure," Principal Sam Cowan said at the ceremony Friday.

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That has changed, thanks to community support. Area businesses including Calhoun Construction, Flynn Brothers, and Charlie Marsh of Gault-Marsh Development worked together to make the first playground at Gilmore a reality.

"It has been amazing to see your sacrifice for our students," Cowan said. "Without your support and assistance, our new playground would never have materialized."

Due to potential rain, Cowan held the ceremony inside the school, along with the ribbon cutting.

Among those in the audience were family members of brothers who attended Gilmore before their death.

Aairden Hooper was in the third grade. His brother Avery was in fifth.

In the playground there is a memorial dedicated to the boys who were murdered last August by their mother before she killed herself.

It has pictures of the children and a poem called "Hug O'War" about a game where everyone hugs.

"Both boys loved to hug," Cowan said. "We always received hugs by them. Especially Aairden."

Their memorial is a permanent part of this new playground. Cowan told their family members they are welcome at the memorial anytime.

And now, thanks to this playground, their memories will live on and provide fun moments for the school and neighborhood children.

"A safe and bright place for children to swing, to laugh, to climb," Cowan said. "It's fabulous."

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