On Tuesday, Under Armor CEO Kevin Plank unveiled the new UA House at Fayette, a recreation and community center in East Baltimore. The UA House project started with a revitalization of the former Carmelo Anthony Center, and has grown into a center for creative learning and innovation offering a recording studio, design lab, yoga and dance studio and other classrooms, workforce development and entrepreneurship center, and gymnasium. The entire project took 336 days to complete.
Much of the funding was provided by Plank’s Cupid Foundation and Under Armor, Inc., but the $6.5 million-dollar project was really made possible by a public-private partnership entered into by a slew of individuals, private companies and government agencies. The construction of a $600,000 covered fieldhouse on the property was funded by a donation from the Baltimore Ravens. As Plank told the crowd at the unveiling ceremony, “Things like this don’t just happen from one person.”
The UA House will be operated by the Living Classroom Foundation, a nonprofit organization working to revamp a section of East Baltimore through an onslaught of projects aiming to offer education, recreation and workforce development opportunities. Living Classroom Foundation CEO James Piper Bond told the Baltimore Business Journal that community centers such as Plank’s new UA House provide a “pipeline of services from cradle to college and career to disrupt the cycle of poverty.”
Plank and Piper Bond have plans to replicate the UA House project approximately 30 more times in and around the city in an effort to accelerate the communities of Baltimore.