Tuesday was a big day for Wheeling city officials. A generous donation by a local organization brings the development of a recreational complex a little bit closer to fruition.
Mayor Andy McKenzie, announced Tuesday afternoon that the sports complex, a project four years in the making, now has a name. The "J.B. Chambers Recreation Park" will recognize the J.B. Chambers Memorial Foundation's donation of $750,000 to the project.
"Mr. Chambers is probably in heaven, ecstatic that his money is making such a huge impact," said Emily Fisher, member of the Memorial Foundation and Executive to the President for Development at West Virginia Northern Community College.
The J.B. Chambers Foundation has supported many organizations in the Ohio Valley over the years, including Easter Seals, Ohio County Schools, the Catholic Neighborhood Center, Wheeling HEalth Right, Catholic Schools, YWCA and YMCA. This is the second major recreation partnership between the City of Wheeling and the memorial foundation, the first being the J.B. Chambers Complex in Elm Grove.
The generous donation takes the project, currently under construction, to a whole new level.
"That's when plans turn into reality," said Wheeling Vice Mayor Gene Fahey. "We're so glad the Chambers Foundation is the first to come aboard."
Wheeling's youth will soon be able to play a variety of sports on an artificial grass surface, day and night.
"The J.B Chambers Foundation is so enthused to be a part of this field and the impact that it's going to have on the youth of this area," Fisher added.
It will also impact the East Wheeling area.
Lance Miller owns Neely's grocery right across the street and hopes the project will bring energy and excitement back into his neighborhood.
"I think this is going to be the greatest thing to ever happen in East Wheeling in a long time," Miller said. "We sure take a lot of hard knocks about how bad things are out here but East Wheeling is a fine neighborhood."