Staten Island Becoming Skateboard Central With Third Park

By Nicholas Rizzi on July 27, 2012 6:56am 

STATEN ISLAND — Staten Island is fast becoming the city's center for skating.

The New York City Parks Department plans to build a new public skate park inside of Faber Park, Port Richmond — just weeks after the city's only indoor park opened in the borough.

The nearly 10,000 square foot Faber Park facility will be the Island's third skate park, joining the public Benjamin Soto Skate Park in Midland Beach, and the newly opened indoor 5050 Skate Park, in Stapleton.

The city began the procurement phase of the project last week and expects to send it out for bids in August, said Tara Kiernan, a spokeswoman for the Parks Department.

The project will take over around 1.9 acres of unused space in the 4.6 acre Faber Park, installing ramps, banks and hubba rails for riders of all ages, said Kiernan.

"We’re creating recreational space on what was once passive space," Kiernan said.

Borough President James Molinaro allocated $1.2 million to fund the project after a local teenager started to campaign for a public park on the North Shore two years ago, Kiernan said.

Molinaro could not be reached for comment for this story.

The park was designed by Action Sport Development (ASD), a skate park consulting firm which has previously worked on the Far Rockaway Skate Park and the Skate Plaza in the Hudson River Park. The company worked  with 25 local riders at a public workshop, said Mike McIntyre, ASD's prinicipal designer.

"We provided questionnaires and went through a pros and cons exercise of various parks on what they liked and did not like as well," McIntyre said.

"After the meeting, we provided a community secure page to post ideas and provide additional feedback as the design was getting refined."

The design of the park will try to fit in with the existing layout of Faber Park, and have the feel of an urban plaza with stairs and rails, McIntrye said.

"The park was designed to integrate within the natural surroundings of Faber Park," he said. "The use of boulders is incorporated in the project inside the park to create natural gaps for skating over and stone faced ledges to tie into the existing stone clad walls."

The skate plaza will also provide seating for onlookers and be friendly to nearby pedestrians.

The idea for the skate park got started two years ago when Jared Moller, 14, Arlington, came to a community association meeting and requested a new place for his fellow riders to skate, Kiernan said.

"He said that they needed a place in their neighborhood, to skate and 'stay out of trouble,'" Kiernan said.

After the meeting, Moller compiled a petition with 150 signatures of people who wanted the park to be built and sent it to the borough president, who later funded the project.

Since the city has not picked a construction firm to lead the project yet, no expected date of completion has been announced, Kiernan said.

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