NYIT students from the School of Architecture and Design are using their flair for sustainable design to transform a Long Island boxing gym into an Olympic-worthy community destination for fitness and health education. On May 7, they presented their design for the renovation and expansion of an existing Police Athletic League (PAL) boxing gym in Freeport, N.Y., to the town's mayor Andrew Hardwick. The PAL boxing program is run by Freeport native Joe Higgins, who has been training young men and women as boxers for amateur Golden Glove and Olympic competitions for several years. Some of his boxers will be contenders in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Strong academic performance, proper nutrition, and athletic discipline are the foundation of the gym's training program. The current facility, a former Parks Department garage in Freeport's Northeast Park, is inadequate for the program's needs.
The PAL boxing gym is a sLAB project, shorthand for the school's Student-Led Architecture Build initiatives. It emerged from the NYIT course Design V - Community Design in fall 2009, when students working in teams developed large-scale urban design proposals for transportation, water management, and planned growth of Freeport. During their research, they learned of the PAL boxing program and initiated a design competition for the project. This first team of students has since graduated, and a new team of students is refining and developing the initial design proposal.
The design adds nearly 3,000 square feet to the existing 1,600-square-foot building, and includes an open boxing gym with space for both raised and flat-practice boxing rings; an education lab with computers for homework and continuing education; men's and women's locker rooms; a kitchen for nutritional education; outdoor space with a vegetable garden; and an office, storage, and utility room. Sustainable design features include daylighting, radiant heating, solar thermal water heating, permeable paving, and recycled materials.
The current NYIT student team includes:
Their faculty advisors are Janet Fink, AIA, LEED AP, adjunct associate professor of architecture, and Giovanni Santamaria, Ph.D., adjunct assistant professor of architecture.
Coming soon … NYIT students will present their design at a televised Village of Freeport Board Meeting.