ORANGE, NJ — The chilly temperatures didn’t stop Orange residents from joining Mayor Dwayne Warren and the City Council for the unveiling of Colgate Skate Park at North Center and New streets, on Friday, Nov. 8. The new, multipurpose recreational facility is designed for children and families.
“I’m here for the grand opening of our skate park, Orange’s first skate park,” Orange Cultural Affairs Coordinator Campanella Godfrey told the Record-Transcript at the event. “I’m here supporting the kids and the mayor and his great endeavor. I’m here because the great things the mayor keeps doing for this town, it really shows. The way he’s opened his heart, the way the county has joined in, along with him, and helped to provide a skate park for the kids.”
The mayor was given the honor of cutting the ribbon to the new skate park.
“Today, we have officially opened the Colgate Skate Park here in the city of Orange Township, right in our East Ward,” Warren said at the event. “A professional layout of a skateboard park — it’s finally come to fruition. It’ll be full of skateboarders, people who’ve just started or people who are experts. We have everything for them.”
“This is a multi-million-dollar project because first, we took a plot of land that had environmental issues and we cleaned up the environmental issues,” continued Warren. “We demolished a building, removed soil, replaced it with fresh soil and then we installed the skate park. It was a multi-million-dollar investment, but it cleans up an area that was once polluted. It brings a vibrant family activity and it gives a security system as well in this area of the city.”
Sporting high and low ramps near the entrance of the park, slopes towards the center and a dome-shaped pit on the far end, the skaters got busy putting their skills to the test as soon as they were allowed entry. It soon became a free-for-all, and the number of children and teens grew.
“Today’s event was outstanding,” the mayor said. “Everyone, from people who helped to finance it; the county executive certainly was here, a huge supporter. The Community Development Block Grant director was here. All of the departments in the city that are responsible for recreation and security were here. It’s a big day in the city of Orange.”
Marty Mays, Orange’s director of planning and development and department of public works, said at the event. “It was an environmentally contaminated site and now we’re reusing it as a skate park and as a new venue. This park has been in the works for about three years, approximately.”
“I think this event is a great event for the families and the residents in Orange,” he continued. “It’s a great facility. It’s something new and it’s very nice.”
Giving his stamp of approval, Orange Police Department Director Todd R. Warren said he was happy to see a positive change highlighted in the city.
“We’re here to support the mayor, the council and the ribbon-cutting of our skateboard park,” Todd Warren told the Record-Transcript during the event. “I think this is a great event. I think it’s an excellent opportunity for young people to come out and get involved in extracurricular activities and keep them busy.”
“I’m here to skate at the opening of this new skate park in Orange,” Mark Matthews, owner of the Underground Skate Shop, said at the event. “We have a shop in town. It’s in Nutley and in Newark, so we came along to give out some prizes and things like that as well.”
“Today is a great day in the city of Orange, as we have opened up our skate park,” former Orange Councilman Elroy Corbitt, who came out to support the city at the event, said. “The great thing about Orange is that it’s a very diversified community. We have soccer fields, we have basketball, we have tennis. So, with it being so diversified, oftentimes you’ll find people playing basketball; oftentimes, you’ll find a certain class of people playing soccer. So here with the skate park, this is where everyone will come together. You’ll probably see every nationality in the city of Orange at our skate park. The great thing about this is it’s also going to be very safe. So, we’re pleased about that.”
Councilwoman Jamie Summers-Johnson brought her own children to check out the new skate park on Friday, Nov. 8.
“I’m so excited to have a skate park here in the city of Orange,” she told the Record-Transcript during the event. “I have two small sons and I’m glad to be able to something in my city. So, I went out and brought all the equipment needed to keep my kid safe and, now, he’s actually learned from the other kids over the past hour that we’ve been here.”
“I think this is amazing,” she continued. “This is exposing our kids to a new sport, a sport that they might not have thought about before, and I think that it’s great, because this park actually has a skate park, basketball and swimming, so I can imagine parents can just say they’re going to be in Colgate Park for the whole day during the summer.”