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For Drew Szala, the best part of the Reid Menzer Memorial Skatepark is the sunrises.

He's seen them countless times.

At 27, the York native is considered an "oldie" at the park, located off 941 Vander Ave.

"I'm cool with it," he said. "You can still find me here three or four times a week."

He can still count the injuries he suffered at the park.

Cracked skull, bruises and a torn ACL are just a few.

But he still returns.

"It's the nature of the sport," he said. "I just get back up and start again."

Upgrades: Szala's second home will soon be expanded. Construction has begun to add more features to the park.

Local skateboarders are excited for the upgrades.

"The biggest thing we wanted to add were the lights," said Skatepark Committee Chairwoman Brenda Welt. "You will find skateboarders at the park at all times of the year, even winter. It was important to expand that."

Work has begun to expand the park and install lights to lengthen evening skating hours in the spring and fall.

Community: Austin Mohney, a York resident, also visits the skate park regularly.

He credits skateboarding for giving him purpose and a sense of community, all of which can be traced to the skate park.

"Without skateboarding, I don't think I'd be alive," he said. "The people and the community have helped shape the person I have become."

Donations: The expansion was funded by a capital campaign completed in 2014 that raised more than $540,000 in private donations to expand and light the park and complete deferred maintenance.

The expansion will add approximately 11,500 square feet of skateable area to the park, enlarging it by more than 50 percent.

It will feature traditional ledges, ramps and pyramids, but also add a unique feature — a full pipe constructed from a repurposed 10,000-gallon fuel tank donated by Shipley Energy.

Memorial: The skate park opened in September 2008 as a memorial to 14-year-old Reid Menzer, who was killed when he was struck by a car while riding his street luge in 2006.

He was a skater who spoke often about York needing a skate park where both beginners and experienced skaters could safely learn and enjoy their passion.

The park sits on land donated by the City of York in Veterans Memorial Park and was built entirely with donations.

To learn more about the Reid Menzer Memorial Skatepark and the capital campaign visit www.reidmenzermemorialskatepark.org.

— Contact Sara Blumberg at sblumberg@yorkdispatch.com.

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