Sea Isle City's new skatepark officially opened July 1 in the Dealy Field Recreational Center at 61st Street and Central Avenue.

The concrete and metal skatepark, which is free for public use and was created specifically for skateboarders, has replaced the city's former wooden skatepark which was in the same location.

The former skatepark, though popular, was outdated and didn't offer enough challenges for the skaters, said Katherine Custer, the city's director of community services.

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"We're expecting this to be even more popular," Custer said."It's something we wanted to do for our visitors and residents as well - anyone who skates."

The skatepark was designed by California-based Spohn Ranch Inc., a firm that specializes in concrete skateparks and skate plazas, at a cost of nearly $140,000. Construction was completed during the past few months by A-Tech Concrete Co., of Edison, Middlesex County, at a cost of $103,000.

Sea Isle City Mayor Leonard Desiderio made its opening official with a ribbon cutting ceremony in the center of the skatepark July 1.

"It's great,. isn't it," said Desiderio to a crowd of viewers looking over the many ramps, steps and rails that make up the park. "I need to get a skateboard now," he joked.

Sea Isle City summer resident Kevin Stapleton, of Bayside, N.Y., who watched the ribbon cutting with his young son and nephew who were waiting for the ceremony to finish so they use the skatepark, said he commends the city for taking an interest in recreational opportunities for the children.

"It's a really nice social atmosphere for the kids, which is important these days," Stapleton said. "I bring them here to get them away from the video games. The other night we were here, and there was a group of teenagers hanging out in the park, having fun, doing tricks."

Sea Isle City has one of the few municipal-run skate parks in the area. Its hours of operation are 9 a.m. to dusk and safety gear is required.

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