ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The yearslong wait is over for Rochester’s skateboarding community.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren was joined by state and local officials Thursday morning to cut the ribbon on the new ROC City Skatepark.
The long-awaited, and much anticipated skatepark, located along the Genesee Riverway Trail under the Frederick Douglass-Susan B. Anthony Bridge in downtown Rochester, is one aspect of the ROC the Riverway project.
“The opening of ROC City Skatepark brings a new vitality and sense of energy to Downtown Rochester,” Mayor Warren said. “And it also provides a beautifully designed space specifically for skateboarders, rollerbladers, BMXers and other progression-oriented sports enthusiasts to revel in their sport, hone their skills and enjoy endless hours of outdoor recreation along the banks of the Genesee River. I want to thank the Friends of the ROC City Skatepark, who first introduced this idea to the community, along with all of our partners and funders who helped make it a reality, including the New York State Department of Transportation, RG&E, The Skatepark Project and the Sands Family Foundation. Your commitment and investment in this project have made possible a fun-filled venue that will undoubtedly provide plenty of thrills and excitement for residents and visitors to our city.”
The skatepark is a $3.1 million project that includes mini-ramps and ledges, stairs and handrails, competition bowls and a main skate promenade, along with opportunities for public art and performances. Situated under the 490 bridge, it uses land that city officials say was otherwise unbuildable.
The idea of building a public Skatepark for the benefit of the community was first introduced to City officials in 2008 by the ROC City Skatepark Coalition, the precursor to the Friends of the ROC City Skatepark.
“We are very grateful for the support and the partnerships this project has gained over the 12 years that have brought us to this day,” said Michael Riordan, President of the Friends of the ROC City Skatepark. “Now that the first phase of the skatepark is a reality, we are excited to help to activate the space in a way that brings the community together.”
City officials say the skatepark is one of several ROC the Riverway projects that are designed to highlight the Genesee River as the centerpiece of Rochester by creating activities and attractions along both banks of this centralized waterway. ROC the Riverway projects are made possible thanks to a $50 million investment from New York State first announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in February 2018.
Regarding COVID-19 compliance, City of Rochester Communications Director Justin Roj issued a statement Friday afternoon:
“Yesterday was tremendously exciting for our city as we fulfilled a decades-long promise to our young people by opening a world-class skatepark. Obviously, our community wanted to mark this momentous occasion by coming Downtown to celebrate.
We will be working to further encourage mask wearing and social distancing at the skatepark, including the placement of additional signage in the coming days. This will ensure that the ROC City Skatepark remains a safe and exciting destination.”