The refurbishment of a playground at Oglebay Park was celebrated Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by the man who helped make it happen.
George Kontogiannis, originally from Yorkville, donated money to replace safety padding under pieces of equipment, in addition to the replacement of some old equipment. He also donated funding for an endowment that will be used for the upkeep of the Kontogiannis Family Playground, located near Schenck Lake.
Kontogiannis owns the nearby Wheeling Station Apartments and several others in the region. Many of his tenants use the playground.
Photos by Shelley Hanson
The Kontogiannis Family Playground at Oglebay Park received a new safety surface under equipment, along with some new pieces of equipment, thanks to a donation from George Kontogiannis.
''It's wonderful, and there are some nice new benches,'' he added.
Kontogiannis, who has lived in Columbus, Ohio, for the past 50 years, was joined by several members of his family and Oglebay officials.
"We are grateful for George Kontogiannis' ongoing support of Oglebay," said Randy Worls, chairman of the Oglebay Foundation. ''In 1996, Kontogiannis gave more than 70 acres to the Oglebay Foundation and that acreage now comprises half of the Arnold Palmer Designed Golf Course."
Tiffany Taylor, a Wheeling Station resident, brought her children to the event. They played on various slides and swings as the ceremony took place. Taylor said she was pleased with how the renovation turned out.
''We come over whenever we can. It looks 100 percent better,'' she said.
Wheeling Station resident Heather Dobrzynski said she was glad to see the renovation take place, adding the area will be safer for her children and others.
''I like the cushiness,'' Dobrzynski said of the thick padding that surrounds the play areas.
Kontogiannis was born in Martins Ferry and graduated from Yorkville High School in 1958. In 1963, he received a bachelor's degree in architecture and opened his own architectural firm in 1966. In 1967, he founded Colonial American Development Corp., which owns and operates 4,400 apartment units in Ohio, West Virginia and south Florida.
''I've been developing apartments for 45 years,'' he said.
His other charitable causes include sponsoring a college scholarship for Yorkville High School graduates and funding an annual scholarship at Ohio State University's School of Architecture.