RICHMOND, Va. -- There is a new place for Richmond skaters to grind, shred, and kickflip.
City leaders cut the ribbon at the new skate park at Southside Community Center on Old Warwick Road in South Richmond.
The park is part of a $22 million renovation for the center in a part of town that Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney called often overlooked.
"Here's the deal. You know, what a community believes and what a community values in their investments. Are they willing to invest in their people? And for far too long, Richmond has been neglectful in investing south of the river," Stoney said. "The true asset of this community is its people. Those who live on this side of town deserve the same amenities that those who live in Northside, the East End, and the West End."
Richmond City Councilman Mike Jones, who represents the 9th District where the park is located, said it was important to him that the skatepark made it through the planning and budget process.
"Even though I'm a football guy, I'm a basketball guy, I committed and wanted [the city] to double down on ensuring that this skate park survived. And here's why. The 9th district in Southside is one of the most eclectic and culturally diverse areas in the city," he said. "This ensures that the people that come out and skate they're not just Black here to shoot [hoops], they're not just Latinos, we're [also] getting white folks from Chesterfield. Our brothers and sisters from the county coming to Southside to make this a destination."
He said the skatepark was one piece of a larger puzzle to make Southside a diverse and welcoming community.
"We want to say, 'Hablo Espanol.'We want to say, 'What's up, dude?' We want to be able to say, 'Bruh How you doing?' We want all those languages and cultures," he said.
The skatepark will also be home to a public art display.
The skatepark is located at 6255 Old Warwick Road.