Williamsbridge Oval Skate Park opens after 16 year wait

Williamsbridge Oval Skate Park opens after 16 year wait
NYC Parks Commissioner Silver (front, c), elected officials, CB 7 members and skaters participated in the grand opening of the Williamsbridge Oval Skate Park.
Photo by Silvio Pacifico

Norwood skaters and residents have fallen ‘head over wheels’ in love with a brand new park.

On Tuesday, August 27, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver joined Councilman Andrew Cohen; Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz; Community Board 7 Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs Committee chairwoman Barbara Stronczer and residents to cut the ribbon for the brand new Williamsbridge Oval Skate Park.

The skate park located at Holt Place and Reservoir Oval was designed with input from members of Norwood’s skateboarding community to serve users with a wide array of skills.

“This idea was proposed to me by a group of young local skateboarders that had a need and saw the perfect space,” Cohen explained.

The $977,000 project features stairs with quarter pipes on either side, half-bowls, a manual pad, a wedge with rail, a series of steep banks and mounds for skateboarding.

The park was funded via a $227,000 allocation from Mayor de Blasio and $750,000 from Cohen.

“Thanks to a generous investment from Mayor de Blasio and Councilman Cohen, the Williamsbridge Oval now has a beautiful new skate park which will be enjoyed by the community for many years to come,” Mitchell said.

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, skaters tested their skills on the skate park’s various skateboarding amenities.

The amenities provide both standard skate features and the opportunity for both transitional-style skating which mimics skating in an empty swimming-pool and street-style skating which involves objects found in urban life.

The skate park was slightly sunken to accommodate all of the features and blend into the surrounding topography, according to Parks.

“I am very excited that the new skate park in Williamsbridge Oval is finally open and ready for use by local residents who have been clamoring for a place to skate for many years,” Dinowitz expressed.

Williamsbridge Oval Skate Park’s construction commenced on June 5, 2018 following a groundbreaking ceremony.

The skate park was originally planned in 2003 after money for captial improvements in Bronx parks were made available as part of the Croton Filtration Plant mitigation funding which funded borough parks in exchange for allowing authorities to site a water filtration plant under Van Cortlandt Park.

However in 2013, eventhough the mitigation funds had depleted, Cohen was able to secure funding in 2014.

Williamsbridge Oval Skate Park was delayed when the $750,000 allocated was not enough to cover the winning bid in the procurement process.

The mayor’s office contributed additional funding toward the project.

In addition to its new skate park, the 19.75 acre Williamsbridge Oval includes basketball and boccee courts, football and soccer fields, running tracks, tennis courts, playgrounds, spray showers, a media lab and Wi-Fi Hot Spots.

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