Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects designed the recently-completed expansion and enhancements for the Reid Menzer Memorial Skatepark in York, Pennsylvania.
The firm worked with the skatepark committee, local skaters, municipal officials, and community leaders for several years to design an expansion that addressed the specific needs of skaters who use the regionally popular venue.
The park, which was built completely through donations (including donated materials and labor), opened in 2008 on land provided by the City of York within Memorial Park. It’s been built and maintained in honor of Reid Menzer, a 14-year-old York City resident who was killed when he was struck by a car while riding his homemade street luge in 2006.
An estimated 20,000 visitors per year ride the park. It has become a regional destination and usage is high year-round. There is high demand for expanded hours, additional seating, and increased obstacles and areas so that a wider range of ages and skill levels can safely coexist. Heavy usage and weather damage had also eroded the park perimeter over time.
The 13,000-square foot expansion provides an area for beginner-level skaters and has stabilized park perimeter edge conditions with skateable and non-eroding surfaces. The expansion incorporates a variety of skateable concrete structures, steel rails, and ramps. Edges have been “cleaned up” with the installation of found objects, including granite curbing, concrete slabs, and brick pavers from municipal scrap piles and manufacturers’ overstock.
New lighting throughout the park allows for safe nighttime use. One 60-foot central light pole with 10 fixtures provides 90% of the skatepark lighting, with supplemental LED lighting at a few locations to provide full coverage. The addition of a 12-foot diameter, 21-foot-long section of an oil storage tank for skaters to pass through reinforces the theme of reuse. Local graffiti artists will eventually paint the steel surfaces of the 60-foot light pole and the oil tank.
“The expansion will provide new space and features for the thousands of skaters who use the park year-round,” said Eric Menzer, a member of the skatepark committee and Reid Menzer’s father. “The fact that it is so popular is a wonderful testament to the city who embraced adding a skatepark to Memorial Park, and the generous people who made it possible to both build the original park and do this expansion. Providing a safe and legal place for people to skate is what it’s all about.”