Local dignitaries descended upon Hope D. Wall School on Wednesday afternoon for the ribbon cutting on its state-of-the-art, ADA-accessible, inclusive playground, for which the Fox Valley Park District contributed $250,000.

The new amenity replaces the school’s former wooden playground, which was built by parents, community volunteers and staff members in 1993. The wood aged over the years, making it difficult for student use. Additionally, the new playground features synthetic turf flooring, replacing wood chips, which made it difficult to navigate wheelchairs.

Hope D. Wall serves 170 special-needs students – from pre-school through transition age – from West Aurora School District 129 and East Aurora School District 131, both of which the FVPD enjoys strong partnerships.

Speakers included: West Aurora Superintendent Jeff Craig, Hope Wall Principal Terry Collette, East Aurora Superintendent Jennifer Norrell, West Aurora School Board President Robert Gonzalez, FVPD Executive Director Jim Pilmer, and Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irving.

The new park serves Hope Wall students first, but is open to the community on evenings (prior to the onset of early darkness) and weekends.