LEAGUE CITY — The concrete slabs of the League City Skate Park represent more than the facilities necessary for skateboarders.
Instead, they create a home for the many teenagers who frequent the area. On any given evening, 10 to 40 skaters enjoy the ramps.
For 17-year-old Kyle Drenner, the skate park is where he fits in. Like him, many others have found their group at the park.
“I come here every other day,” said Arron Vilano, 17. “All of my friends are here.”
Last year, the skate park underwent a major expansion, adding ramps, steps, hubba rails and bowls.
“Before there were very basic pieces — now there are more challenging components,” Chien Wei, director of parks and recreation for League City, said.
Before the expansion, the city had two meetings. More than 70 skaters came to support the changes.
“They had more kids advocate for the skate park project than we’ve ever had before,” City Councilman Andy Mann said. “They were able to design the park with input from the kids.”
Samuel Pfendler, 17, attended the last meeting to promote the expansion.
“It was great because it really got everyone to speak up,” he said.
Skaters have been able to improve their skills and learn new tricks.
“I just learned how to skate that vert mini ramp better,” Vilano said. “You have to try a few times and that teaches you that hard work beats talent.”
Vilano said that he tried twice before mastering the ramp. He had been eyeing the trick for the past two weeks.
“Your friends really motivate you to try things,” he said.
As the skaters previously banded together to support the expansion, they now support each other.
“I know everyone here,” Dakota Deville, 18, said.
The sense of community is part of what draws the skaters to the park. Many come every day or least three times a week.
Diego Winter, 18, who was a proponent for the expansion, said that the skate park gave him a strong group of friends.
“The skate park is my second family,” Winter said. “It made me who I am today, and I love everyone there.”
Since the expansion, Mann said usage has increased.
“There must be a fourfold increase in how many people skate there a day,” he said.
Though there is no record of usage, skaters note that more people frequent the park, adding to the sense of community.
“When I first moved here I was literally two minutes away from the park,” Winter said. “I was 14 and didn’t skate then, but figured: Why not try it?
“Now, all of my friends skate.”