Picking up the pieces, Gables Academy is showing signs of improvement after an alleged drunk driver ran into their school gym. Tire tracks, boarded up walls, and construction workers are the only visual reminders of what happened two months ago at Gables Academy.
Back in January, portions of the schools’ gym was destroyed when 28-year-old Justin Brimer drove across a playground at Gables Academy on Jefferson Highway and took out two fences, before plowing into the gym, leaving damages costing nearly $100,000.
Gables Academy principal Susan Kramer says, “He came directly between two steel beams. If it’s beam were six inches either way he would have been very seriously injured.” You may not realize at first glance but principal Susan Kramer says things are starting to look a whole lot better. Her construction company has already replaced drywall and the entire cinderblock wall to the concession stand.
Kramer says since the accident, parents along with the community have all chipped in with donations and support. “The Louisiana Culinary Institute called and asked if they could make lunch for us one day and they brought out spaghetti dinners and desert.”
Parent Stacey Hardwick says, “It’s so awesome. I’m glad to see the community is willing to help us out when we need the help.” She’s even noticed a difference in the students’ behavior. “Since we haven’t’ had the gym they’ve been eating outdoors together and playing and socializing more and I think they’ve come together closer as a group.”
Despite the damage Brimer’s accident caused the school, Kramer says she’s not angry, she just hopes he’s learned a valuable lesson. Gables Academy hopes to have their gym completed in time for the school’s spring dance in April.