Buffalo has a new skateboard park, formally opened Wednesday afternoon by city officials and several eager young people, many of whom were already using the swirling concrete during the formal ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The site, known as the LaSalle Park Skate Plaza, was formerly a storage area for pipes for the city's water system on the I-190 side of the park, not far from the new Centennial Pool.
Mayor Byron Brown says his administration has spent more than $5 million for improvements in LaSalle Park, part of more than $30 million spent on city parks since he took office.
Brown says the $253,000 project was designed with the help of local skateboarders and an architectural firm which specializes in designing these facilities.
"We worked with members of the skating community and young people in just about every section of the City of Buffalo said that they wanted someplace to safely skate in the city, and this is it. This will be a place for skateboarders, inline skaters, and BMX bikers," Brown says.
Councilmember David Rivera says the skate section is yet another amenity for the heavily used park.
"This is one of the busiest parks in the City of Buffalo. If you come here during the evening, you'll see the dog walkers, you'll see the soccer field, the baseball, the football, you'll see the swimming pools," Rivera said.
City officials say they were so anxious to get the facility formally open since it was in heavy use, they didn't even have time to let the grass grow along the edge.
The mayor says if this skate park proves to be a success, the city is open to building another one.