14,000 Square-Foot Programming Hub to Include Technology Lab, Fitness Center, and Hands-On Maker Studio
Next One Up (NOU), a Baltimore nonprofit transforming the lives of young men in the City by supporting their academic, athletic and social development, announced plans today for Base Camp, its first full-time programming space.
NOU plans to renovate 14,000 square feet at Belvedere Square to create Base Camp, a bold and creative learning and social hub where all NOU student participants will have access to the programs and support needed to grow and thrive. Base Camp will allow NOU to expand its programming from one day a week to seven days of impact and opportunity for its students.
“When the school day ends, life in Baltimore begins, and every young person has a choice in how to use those hours,” said Next One Up founder Matt Hanna. “We want Base Camp to be a second home for our guys, where they have consistent access to the resources and opportunities they need to form a dynamic and concrete vision for their future.”
Base Camp is intentionally designed to meet the individual needs of the student participants. A dedicated academic area will provide tutoring and academic classrooms, a hands-on maker space for robotics and STEM activities, a tech lab with 3D printers and computer workstations, a recording studio, and independent study spaces. A gym, designed by Chris Welsh of Impact Fitness, will include a full locker room, weightlifting, cardio and cross-fit equipment, and warm-up and mat areas. And a social lounge will offer opportunities for participants to grab a meal from the kitchen, play games, and connect.
Since 2009, NOU has offered early and consistent individual counseling, support, and empowerment programs and services for students to progress from middle school to high school and then set out on their post-secondary path. Without a space of its own, NOU has bootstrapped programming space for the last 13 years, first operating in rec centers and libraries before partnering with Gilman School to offer Sunday programming one day a week on its campus. Base Camp marks a new chapter for NOU providing a dedicated, centralized home to allow for the expansion of programs and the ability to accommodate more young men.
The move to a full-time hub at Belvedere Square is possible thanks to funds from private, corporate, and state partners raised in support of the organization’s first capital campaign. NOU has raised more than $2 million to date towards its $3.5 million campaign goal in support of construction costs, center operations, and expansion of programs.
Construction partner Whiting-Turner will start renovations in November to help allow NOU to increase its capacity to transform the lives of young men in Baltimore City for decades to come. When Base Camp opens in the third quarter of 2023, NOU expects to serve 10,000 meals, offer 300 hours of academic instruction, and provide 400 hours of focused athletic training, offering greater access and opportunity for its 150 participants.
“Next One Up is my second family, and I couldn’t imagine where I would be without all the support they’ve provided,” said Kaelin Keyes-Moten, NOU alum and field engineer at Whiting-Turner. “I am truly honored to be part of the construction of Next One Up’s very first recreational facility and thankful that I can play a role in pulling the next young man up the mountain of success.”
In 2021, NOU served 133 students who are succeeding at every age. The program achieved one hundred percent employment among college graduates within six months of graduation, gained one hundred percent college acceptance and matriculation for the class of ’21, and holds a 98 percent year-to-year retention rate among middle and high school students.
To learn more about NOU and its programs, participants, and vision for Base Camp, visit https://www.nextoneup.org/ or watch founder Matt Hanna share his vision for the space here https://vimeo.com/708812678/1ddcefbe44.
About Next One Up
Founded in 2009, Next One Up supports underserved student-athletes throughout Baltimore City by providing highly individualized wrap-around support that empowers underserved young men to become the city’s next generation of leaders. Adaptive year-round multi-year programming goes beyond the boundaries of typical programs to foster stability and create lasting change. Programming blends a focus on academics and leadership to infuse out-of-school time with purpose and help young men form a dynamic and concrete vision for their future. The ultimate goal of NOU’s program is to equip students with the skills to be successful, self-sufficient, and socially conscious.