A rendering of nonprofit Next One Up’s future “base camp” planned for Belvedere Square. Rendering courtesy of Next One Up.

Next One Up, a nonprofit that supports underserved student-athletes throughout Baltimore City, announced plans for its “Base Camp,” a full-time programming space equipped with a technology lab, fitness center, and more.

The nonprofit, which provides academic, athletic and social development services to boys and young men, will renovate the 14,000-square-foot former Brick Bodies gym at Belvedere Square. 

Founded in 2009, Next One Up offers counseling, support, and empowerment programs to help students transition from middle school to high school and prepare them for college or careers.

For years the organization hosted their programs at recreation centers and libraries before partnering with Gilman School to offer once-a-week programming on Sundays. The Base Camp space will allow Next One Up to expand programs and accommodate more boys and young men seven days a week. 

“When the school day ends, life in Baltimore begins, and every young person has a choice in how to use those hours,” Next One Up founder Matt Hanna said in a statement. “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.”

Students who visit Base Camp will have access to areas for tutoring and academic classrooms; a hands-on space for robotics and STEM activities; a technology lab with 3D printers and computer workstations; a recording studio; independent study spaces; a gym that will include a locker room, weightlifting, cardio, CrossFit equipment, and mat areas; and a social lounge offering meals from the kitchen, games, and opportunities to connect with other students. 

In 2021, Next One Up served 133 students, holding a 98% year-to-year retention rate among middle and high school students, 100% college acceptance and matriculation for the class of 2021, and 100% employment among college graduates within six months of graduation.

With the help of private, corporate, and state partners Next One Up has raised more than $2 million towards its $3.5 million goal in support of construction costs, center operations, and expansion of programs.

Local construction partner Whiting-Turner will start renovations in November. Base Camp is scheduled to open in 2023.

To learn more about Next One Up or Base Camp, visit www.nextoneup.org

Latrice Hill is a Baltimore native and Morgan State University graduate who loves all the great things this city has to offer. She worked with WMAR 2-News as an Assignment Desk Editor before she joined...