Riley Skate Park 70 percent done, looks to open this summer

Riley Skate Park might not look like much now, but it will definitely be a sight to behold in a few short months, according to Bryan Farmer, a recreation supervisor with Farmington Hills.

The skate park is nearly 70 percent complete and construction is set to resume this spring. Farmer expects it to be done and open by June. A number of skateboarding teams and vendors from across the U.S. have already inquired about it.

“We have had a lot of skateboarders interested in coming out for the grand opening,” Farmer says.

Riley promises to be one of the most innovative skate parks to come around southeast Michigan in a long time. It goes beyond the normal concrete hills, ramps and rails of the standard Midwestern skate park. It includes features such as an 8-foot-tall cylinder that looks like a sewer pipe built into the ground instead of above it. There are also a variety of in-ground pits and ditches, giving the park a “West Coast” feel.

Local officials are raising money to bring in extra features such as lighting and webcams to the 29,000-square-foot park. Riley occupies a corner of Founder’s Sports Park at 35500 Eight Mile Road between Gill and Halstead roads near the Farmington Hills Ice Arena.

More than 722,000 people come through the park each year. That number is expected to dramatically increase after the skate park is finished. City officials believe the skate park will become a regional attraction, bringing in nearly 200 people each day.

The skate park is named after George Riley of the Riley Foundation who gave $500,000 toward the $850,000 project. For information on the project, contact Farmer at (248) 473-1805 or BFarmer@fhgov.com.

Source: Bryan Farmer, a recreation supervisor with Farmington Hills
Writer: Jon Zemke