Pacific Building Group, an award-winning San Diego-based general contractor has raised the final beam to “top out” a new steel-framed building for Access Youth Academy located at 704 Euclid Ave. in Southeast San Diego. The 21,000 square-foot structure with eight squash courts will support academics, business and sports activities for the youth development organization, an official U.S. Squash Community Affiliate.
“We’re honored to construct a ground-up facility that will help Access Youth Academy in its mission to transform the lives of underserved youth through academic mentorship and urban squash,” says Jim Roherty, president of Pacific Building Group.
Due to open in June 2021 and serve 1,300 or more students, the new two-story structure will have a glass-walled entry and open reception and lounge area. With ceilings reaching 24-feet, the northern wing will house seven European-designed singles squash courts and one doubles court, locker rooms, showers and restrooms. The southern portion of the building will include two classrooms, storage, support spaces and a large space divided by operable partitions that will contain a computer lab, college prep room and instructional space on the ground level. It will also include a 1,000 square-foot open gallery and awards space, 12 open and two private offices, a large conference room, staff kitchen/breakroom and restrooms. A 140-foot catwalk with bench seating will serve as a squash match observation deck and social area. The face of the catwalk will bear the names of Access Youth Academy graduates. The facility will open to a concrete courtyard with additional seating, viewing and social spaces alongside a new 36-car parking lot.
Founded in 2006, Access Youth Academy provides students with a twelve-year curriculum of intellectual, physical and social development. Students participate in the Access Youth Academy after-school program from seventh grade through high school graduation, are supported through their college years and receive two years of post-college support as they enter the workforce.
Access Youth Academy was recently named an official U.S. Squash Community Affiliate. It’s the third facility – and the first on the West Coast – to receive this accreditation, which will support the organization in making squash more accessible to those who would otherwise not have access to the sport. As noted by Access Youth Academy, the dedication required of both scholarship and sportsmanship creates a culture of character and determination – one that yields powerful results.
“Access Youth Academy is very excited about this new academic and athletic facility,” says Renato Paiva, executive director of Access Youth Academy. “It will serve as a resource for the entire Southeastern San Diego community and allow Access to serve more first-generation college students, and provide community classrooms for educational, workforce preparedness and informational services. We also hope to increase awareness of and participation in the exciting sport of squash.”