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Cautious optimism for skate park


Sometime this fall, the City of Rochester will begin the process to repair the Genesee Crossroads parking garage at Andrews and Front streets, and to overhaul the adjacent Genesee Crossroads-Charles Carroll Park.

Part of the work may also help set the stage for a skate park.

The city has $5.1 million set aside for garage repairs, says city engineer James McIntosh. Since part of Charles Carroll Park sits on top of the garage, he says the city may be able to incorporate a minimal amount of "scene setting" for the skate park into the project.

The city could spend about $100,000 to $200,000 on the skate park component, McIntosh says.

The group Friends of the Roc City Skatepark has been pushing for a skate park in Rochester for years. A feasibility study recommended moving the proposed park from its initial location underneath the Frederick Douglass-Susan B. Anthony bridge to Charles Carroll Park.

Since then, the group has been in a holding pattern, waiting for the city to get going on the garage project. James Maddison, president of the Friends group, says that the delay has been frustrating.

Maddison is reluctant to put a price tag on the park, but says that a study for the site under the bridge put the cost at $4.2 million. He says that the group will combine whatever funding is available from the garage-park project with state grants, possibly some federal funding, and private donations.

McIntosh says that he appreciates Maddison's enthusiasm, but that a lot has to happen before the skate park can be built. One of the big tests will be the reaction the proposed park gets from its potential neighbors.

"We cautioned [Maddison] that we don't know how this is going to play out once we start talking to the stakeholders out there," McIntosh says.