(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today Mayor Vincent C. Gray, DPR Director Jesús Aguirre, DGS Director Brian Hanlon, other government officials, Riddick Bowe, and boxing's finest local and national athletes cut the ribbon on the renovated Bald Eagle Recreation Center and Dr. Arnold W. McKnight Boxing Annex, located at 100 Joliet St., SW. The boxing annex is being dedicated to Dr. Arnold W. McKnight, Former Chairman of the DC Boxing Commission.
"The District needed a world-class boxing annex to support the up-and-coming, talented boxers in this city, and the Dr. Arnold W. McKnight Boxing Annex will ensure that the District continues to support these amazing young athletes," Mayor Gray said. “I am pleased that we are able to honor a legend in the world of boxing and this new annex will continue to provide a stable and structured environment for the District's youth."
Bald Eagle was the home to the Head Bangers Boxing Organization in 2002, and in 2010, the Head Bangers temporarily relocated to the Joy Evans Recreation Center while Bald Eagle was being renovated. The Head Bangers Organization was started in 1993 with approximately 15-20 kids. Today there are 50 youth members, ranging in age from 10 to 18, in the Head Bangers Organization.
"This ribbon cutting fits in perfectly with our goal to help residents Move, Grow and Be Green with DPR. This Recreation Center and Boxing Annex continues the DPR vision of providing a vast array of opportunities for the District's youth to participate in athletic activities and structured programming, and to provide safe havens." said DPR Director Jesús Aguirre.
In addition to the Dr. Arnold W. McKnight Boxing Annex, DPR's other boxing center locations are Benning Park Recreation Center, Langdon Recreation Center, Rosedale Recreation Center, and Joy Evans Recreation Center.
Dr. Arnold W. McKnight was the longest seated Chairman of the DC Boxing Commission, serving from 1996 to 2007. As the Chairman, Dr. McKnight presided over boxing events that included, the "Triple-Jeopardy" fight in 1999 and the Kevin McBride-Mike Tyson fight in 2005. Dr. McKnight was also instrumental in bringing Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fights to the District. In addition to Dr. McKnight's role as Chairman of the DC Boxing Commission, he was a professor at Bowie State University, the first Director of DPR's Southeast Tennis and Learning Center, and over the years he coached countless youth in tennis, baseball, football and more.
"The Department of General Services is delighted to partner with DPR to provide a brand new Boxing Annex at Bald Eagle Recreation Center because boxing is one of the hallmark sports for this community," said Brian J. Hanlon, DGS Director. "We are also excited to have made major renovations to the recreation center for residents and visitors of all ages and abilities to enjoy."
The modernization that was completed in recreation center included:
- New reception and front desk area
- New multipurpose and program rooms
- New kitchen
- New restrooms
- Upgraded computer lab
- New paint and flooring finishes throughout the building.
The Boxing Annex Expansion Project is a 6,600 square-foot annex to house Bald Eagle's Boxing Program - The Head Bangers Organization. The new annex includes:
- State of the art boxing gym
- Fitness area
- Locker rooms & showers
- Shadow boxing area
- Office and storage area
- Trophy case and pantry
Exterior improvements to the outside of the building include:
- Resurfaced play courts
- Refurbished athletic lighting
- Field improvements
- New playground equipment
- New outdoor site furniture
- Improved parking area