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Round Rock Boxing Club Forced To Close To Make Room For Parking
A Round Rock boxing gym that helps steer kids on the right path is being forced to shut down.
The building used by Abundant Outreach Association Boxing (AOA) will be torn down at the end of March and owners still don’t know where they’re going.
On the outside it looks like a large shed but it’s what’s happening inside that is making a difference in young lives.
"I used to be in a lot of trouble constantly until I found this," boxer Cesar Martinez says.
Martinez credits the faith-based boxing club with helping him get his life on track and stay out of trouble.
Now Martinez and others AOA members boxing will have to train elsewhere. The large shed where they train will be knocked own to build a parking lot in downtown Round Rock.
City spokesperson Will Hampton says the construction will help the city, "create more parking maybe for the next five years or so. Who knows? This may be a parking garage here in the long term but we really do need more parking space downtown."
That parking is becoming vital for businesses, especially on weekends as Round Rock’s downtown becomes more of an attraction. But the convenience comes at a cost.
AOA Founder Greg Alvarez, also known as Big Greg, says they have nowhere to go. He says the gym has made a big difference in people’s lives.
"I’ve had gang members come here and they’re tough guys and stuff and now they’re going around saying yes sir, yes ma’am," Alvarez said.
Alvarez has been leasing the building from the city for just 10 dollars a year. He knew the deal would eventually come to an end, he just didn’t think it would be so soon. He says regardless of the setback, AOA won’t close down.
"If we have to go to the park and work out, we’re going to go to the park and work out," he said.
AOA has the land to build a new gym, they just don’t have the money to build the gym yet. But Alvarez has faith things will fall into place. As for these boxers they say as long as they train they’re happy and they’re not ready to give up hope yet.
No one is turned away from AOA boxing. It charges $10 a month for anyone 17 and under and $20 a month for 18 and over.
By Lydia Pantazes