Sandy wipes out Rockaway Skatepark
As New Yorkers attempt to regain some semblance of normalcy in the wake of superstorm Hurricane Sandy -- which claimed 38 lives in the city and wreaked an estimated $50 billion in havoc -- skateboarders along the city's Atlantic coast lost one of their longtime go-to spots.
A shorefront fixture along Queens' Rockaway Beach at 91st St., Rockaway Skatepark essentially ceased to exist after being pounded by Sandy's heavy rains, sustained 80 mph winds, and high-tide storm surges topping 12 feet.
"Rockaway got wrecked," 5boro Skateboards founder Steve Rodriguez told ESPN.com via email yesterday.
Assembled in 2004 by the American Ramp Company, the prefabricated sheet-metal setup wasn't the most cherished of the Big Apple's skateparks. But the 12,300-square-foot facility was free and located right on the beach, and it's slated for a complete concrete makeover.
"Rockaway II, as we have been calling it, was designed by Site Design Group," said Bill Minadeo, VP of global business development for California Skateparks, which will head up construction. "We are planning on beginning construction in April [or] May [of next year]. [We're] in the process of creating shop drawings and some design updates. Looks like our demo work is already complete."
Minadeo added that the new design will be dominated by transitions. "I believe that directive came from the local skate-surf community," he said. "The idea is to have a flow-type park pretty much right on the beach. The size and location of the park will remain on the same footprint of the original prefab park."
According to the City of New York Parks & Recreation website," all NYC parks, playgrounds, beaches, and recreation centers remain closed until further notice due to hazardous conditions."