OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – The City of Wheeling presented a $10,000 check Wednesday to the JB Chambers YMCA. The contribution is to help pay for the YMCA’s all-inclusive playground project.

The all-inclusive playground is a barrier-free facility outside the Chamber’s YMCA in Elm Grove. It allows kids in wheelchairs, kids on the autism spectrum and kids with all sorts of challenges to swing on the swings and enjoy the whole playground on their own terms.

“We have equipment specifically made for children on the autism spectrum, you know, to calm their sensories and let them get back into play activity with their peers. You know because sometimes for an autistic child, the playground and all the screaming can be overwhelming.”

Adam Shinsky, Executive Director, Wheeling YMCA

“And especially coming out of COVID like we have been, this gives the kids the opportunity to get away from the isolationism that they’ve experienced and get an opportunity to interact, play, run and have fun.”

Bill Lanham, Assistant City Manager

“I grew up here, I spent countless hours in this YMCA and there’s kids from all over that come to this Y and enjoy the facilities here.”

Dave Palmer, Wheeling Council Member

The playground cost 600-thousand dollars, including the soft pliable surface and the equipment. It was part of the Y’s capitol campaign and was made possible with grants from the JB Chambers Foundation, the AEP Foundation–and now–from the City of Wheeling. It also received a lot of community support.