SquashWise, Baltimore’s Squash and Education Alliance Program and future home of a six-court community squash center, has joined the US Squash Community Affiliate Network.
SquashWise operated out of the Meadow Mill Athletic Center since its founding in 2008, and shortly after the facility’s closure in 2021 acquired a former Greyhound bus terminal on the campus of the Maryland Center for History and Culture in central Baltimore. The organization will develop the space into a community center with six courts and three classroom spaces, which would more than double the capacity of the youth development program and expand services to more middle and high school students in Baltimore City schools. Located at 601 N Howard Street and projected to open in 2025, the facility will also serve as a hub for recreation and community-building through memberships, adult and youth programs, tournaments and events.
Read more about the Greyhound project’s development and fundraising efforts here.
Following Meadow Mills’ closure, SquashWise moved into a temporary facility in a nearby warehouse with two courts from Meadow Mill and office and classroom spaces. SquashWise has harnessed the interim facility as an opportunity to develop a new community programming model that will eventually expand into the Greyhound building.
“We’ve already started to pilot new community squash programming in our interim facility, which has been great preparation,” said Abby Markoe, SquashWise Executive Director. “We’re building on 15 years of impact as an SEA program providing transformative life opportunities through squash, and we’re really excited to add this new element of community building and community squash, which will provide more opportunities for us to engage with a greater number of youth and adults in Baltimore. We’ve been inspired by Portland Community Squash in Maine, which has helped us envision new types of programs and impact.”
SquashWise has held new “Squash Exposure” programming at local schools that focus on introducing the sport to students, regular PE Sessions, and summer camp opportunities. The program has also introduced a free membership at the temporary facility and hosted community squash nights. The first community squash night of the season is set to take place on August 23 with the theme “Rep Your School”.
“Community squash programming at our interim facility has been a great way to re-engage a lot of players who used to play at Meadow Mill, along with new and existing squash players around town. We look forward to continuing to develop this community now and into the Greyhound building,” Markoe said. “A key part of SquashWise’s mission statement is to make the sport of squash more accessible and welcoming for all. That mission statement was a collaboration between staff, Board members, students, parents, and alumni, and was written before we owned the Greyhound building. Now that we have the opportunity to develop a larger community center, it’s really amazing to see this part of our mission come alive in what will be our new permanent home.”
SquashWise becomes the eighth SEA facility location to join the Community Affiliate Network, alongside Philadelphia’s SquashSmarts Lenfest Center, Chicago’s MetroSquash, Harlem’s SL Green StreetSquash Center, Portland Community Squash in Maine, Access Youth Academy in San Diego, Urban Squash Cleveland and Mission Squash in Houston.
No matter where you play squash–outdoor courts, universities, independent schools, SEA facilities, community centers, or commercial courts–if you are committed to building an inclusive community, learn more about joining the Community Affiliate Network.