PAL Boxing center closes, officials claim temporarily

Monday, August 4, 2014 - 7:22pm

A war against kids – that’s what one Las Cruces resident claims the city’s actions reflect after temporarily closing down the PAL boxing center. A facility which keeps troubled youth off the streets.

The exterior of the PAL boxing club doesn’t tell you much of what lies inside… but those who know… are rooting for the center to reopen soon. “It helps the kids stay out of trouble, out of the street,” Peter Vargas, a Las Cruces resident says.

A building used to train elite boxers like Austin ‘No Doubt’ Trout, unfortunately, found its match when it came to renegotiating their contract. “We’re looking forward to working with the PAL organization and we’re positive things will work out,” Mark Johnston, Director for Las Cruces’ Park and Recreation department says. Johnston adds they’ve been trying to work with the non-profit who runs the center. “A couple of the bigger hurdles were the 501 C3, their non-profit status had fallen out of good standing, well now it’s back in good standing.”
He adds, PAL needed proper insurance. And another issue, “Is coming up with a contract that’s reasonable for both parties.”

“We can’t do anything because of the red tape,” Vargas claims. Community members are frustrated and say, they’ve been trying to work with city officials to reopen not only the boxing center.

But the Weed and Seed Teen Center, which closed down earlier this year. “They haven’t zoned it… .they seem to be putting it off and putting it off until they see it going down completely,” Vargas says.

“It was a house. And it was in not very good shape,” Johnston explains, “And it really wasn’t constructed for a commercial facility.”
While hope is dwindling for the teen center, at least both the city and community members are a little more hopeful for the boxing center which remains closed – as least for now.

The Director of the Parks and Rec department also says they’re working on negotiating hours as well as adult membership fees.


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