On Saturday, March 14, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, joined City Council Member Eric Ulrich, Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, Rockaway Rockies Hockey organization President Mike Leahy and members of the league, Community Board 14 Chair Dolores Orr, and neighborhood residents to break ground on renovations to the Rockaway Beach Roller Hockey Rink on Shore Front Parkway at Beach 108th Street in Rockaway Park.
The rink has been a heavily utilized community space, but was significantly damaged in Hurricane Sandy. The renovations were funded with allocations of $600,000 from City Council Member Eric Ulrich, and $491,000 from the Mayor’s Office, and construction is expected to be completed in Spring of 2016.
“The Rockaway Beach Roller Hockey Rink is an important resource to this community, which was impacted so tragically by Hurricane Sandy,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “Projects like the Roller Hockey Rink demonstrate NYC Parks’ ongoing renewal efforts in the Rockaways. The Rink encourages families and people of all ages to get outside and play, and with new amenities like the fan seating areas, we can all come cheer on our local roller hockey teams. Parks thanks Council Member Ulrich for his partnership and support.”
“This rink will be a peninsula jewel providing many functions and serving many families from Breezy Point to Broad Channel,” said Councilman Ulrich. “I’d like to thank the local community groups and the Rockaway Rockies Hockey organization for their vision and hands-on involvement with this project that will bring many years of fun for local residents.”
Despite the rain, Saturday’s event was well-attended, and members of the local roller hockey league showed their support by doing a few fun drills with their hockey sticks and pucks. Kids of all ages came out on the rink and excitedly demonstrated what a wonderful neighborhood resource it is and will continue to be in the future.
The reconstructed rink will feature new dasher boards, frame, and perimeter fence, and new recreational lighting will be provided based on the desire from the users. Additional site elements damaged in the storm include asphalt pathways, benches, drinking fountains, a scorekeeper’s box, fan seating areas, a brand new skating surface, and pedestrian light poles.
Work on the new Rockaway Beach boardwalk has been underway since last year and sections will be opening as they’re complete to ensure as much access for the community as possible. As a result of this administration’s push, the boardwalk will be continuously open to the public by Memorial Day 2016 with the new sections linked together with one older section. It will be fully complete as all new construction by Memorial Day 2017.