2007-11-23 / Community

Another Skate Park Coming Soon To Rockaway

By Nicholas Briano

Michaelis Bayswater Park on Bay 32 Street and Beach Channel Drive will soon add another dimension of recreation, with a newly constructed skate park. Michaelis Bayswater Park on Bay 32 Street and Beach Channel Drive will soon add another dimension of recreation, with a newly constructed skate park. With a little bit of luck and an infusion of public money from the City Council, Rockaway may soon have a second skate park.

Councilman James Sanders recently announced that he has secured money for another park development in Rockaway. Michaelis Bayswater Park in Far Rockaway will soon have a new skate park to add to its already robust list of amenities.

The Bayswater Skate Park will be similar in concept to the current skate park on Shore Front Parkway, but will not include ramps as high and steep in incline and will not require special permits in order to access the park.

Unlike the Shore Front Parkway Skate Park, which has limited hours, this new park will be open until dusk and does not require special supervision, as the Rockaway Beach park does.

Members of Community Board 14 were excited when the announcement was made at the monthly meeting last week. They felt something had to be built on a space that has not been used in many years in a park that sees large amounts of visitors each summer.

The new skate park in Bayswater will compare in concept to the park on Shore Front Parkway in Rockaway Beach, but will include smaller ramps and be open all year long. The new skate park in Bayswater will compare in concept to the park on Shore Front Parkway in Rockaway Beach, but will include smaller ramps and be open all year long. "We have been told by the Parks Department that one of our new capital requests to take one of the parks and make it into a skate park has been granted," Jonathan Gaska, Community Board 14 District Manager, said.

The project has been granted $1 million for development and was funded by Councilmember Sanders.

"We want to thank councilman Sanders," he said. "Every once in a while one of our requests gets funded rather quickly by the city."

Gaska referred to the quick response the project request generated. The request, according to Gaska, was made a few years ago because Community Board 14 believed the park, located on Bay 32 Street and Beach Channel Drive, could benefit from having a new addition to its varied features, which include tennis, basketball, and handball courts, baseball fields, and a playground.

According to a Parks Department spokesperson, the design submission process will begin early next summer and then the project will go through the usual capital projects procedure, of design approval, contract and bidding, and lastly construction. The project is still in the developmental stages, but the money, always a major hurdle in city development, has been allocated and it is simply a matter of time before the park is built. Gaska said that after monetary approval, projects are typically completed within two years, dependent, of course, on the level of construction needed.

The money secured by Councilmember Sanders continues a trend of providing money for parks and recreation in his district. While in council, he has secured funding for other projects, including the development of the P.S. 104 playground on Mott Avenue and the recently renovated Hammels playground on Beach 80 Street.

According to Donovan Richards, a spokesperson for Sanders, the councilmember is ranked eighth in the city for parks and recreational development within his district, and feels that the neighborhood needs as many playgrounds as possible for children.

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