Skateboarders rejoice over groundbreaking of the new ROC City Skate Park

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — City officials broke ground on the long-waited skate park in downtown Rochester Wednesday.

The park will be over 14,000 square-feet, and is set for completion by fall of 2020. Skaters in the Rochester area are rejoicing, as it finally gives them a skating option close to home.

We spoke to Kevin Willard, a volunteer for the Friends of the ROC City Skate Park, at Basil Marella Park in Greece Thursday about what the new space will mean for the Rochester skating community.

Kevin Willard

“I mean, this is like 20 minutes from the city, and it’s the closest it really gets,” Willard said. “Rochester is one of the only, if not the only city, in the 100 largest cities in the country that doesn’t have a public outdoor skate park. It’s sort of a meditation in a way, especially if you’re doing to do something you’ve never done before or even just cruising around, doing things that are easy to you. It kind of clears your mind.”

The park is set for completion by 2020.

James Maddison, Board of Rochester Skatepark President, said this in part in a statement:

“It’s been a long process, and honestly I am still in a state of disbelief that yesterday’s groundbreaking actually happened! I am elated. The children are important … I promised my children I would build a skatepark. I can’t think of a better or more important reason than my promise, and I never qualified the promise with ‘unless there are challenges to work through and obstacles to overcome.’ This credibility carries over to other parts of my children’s lives, and they trust me. Every single child in Rochester deserves to be treated in this manner, to trust grown ups, and to feel secure. There can be no broken promises, even if the promise has challenges to work through and obstacles to overcome.”

“Skateparks have tremendous ability to spur economic activity (I wrote a report in 2015); skateparks built in neighborhoods with high youth crime rates show a significant drop in youth crime; all progression oriented sports are extremely healthy activities with injury rates much lower than many organized sports.”

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