CORNWALL, Ontario – Champs Eastside Boxing Club will remain in its current home.
City council agreed Monday night to approve a 10-year lease, with an option after five years, with the club that has spawned the solid ring work of Tony Luis, the reigning WBC Continental Americas Lightweight Champion.
The boxing club is located on Jarvis Street in Cornwall’s east end in a former library building and has the option in five years of re-upping for another five years at the same terms.
The city’s move also includes the satellite office of the Boys and Girls Club on Henry Street.
The new agreement will see the boxing club and Boys and Girls Club pay for utilities and water as well as an annual rental of $150 as is currently in place. The agreement is effective Jan. 1, 2016.
Coun. Elaine MacDonald supported the move spearheaded by Coun. David Murphy, but was concerned about the 10-year term.
“I’m a little bit leery about the 10 years. It obligates the recipients to continue for 10 years potentially,” she said.
But Coun. Andre Rivette said the buildings and the tenants appear to be going nowhere.
“We have parties in these areas who want to participate and help the city,” he said.
Recreation supervisor Christine Lefebvre said escape clauses would be built into the lease agreements to benefit both parties.
For 14 years, Luis’ father/trainer Jorge Luis has operated their non-profit club in a modest-sized building at 223 Jarvis Street East on city property beside St. Joseph Pool.
Team Luis was at the council chambers.
“Nothing changes,” said Jorge Luis after the council vote. “And that’s good. I don’t want to be a burden.”
Tony Luis was named 2014 Team Cornwall Ambassador of the Year and is also a co-chair of its youth organization Teen Cornwall.
The club has roughly 25 active members and is looking to recruit ages 12-20 for four training sessions a week. Champs’ monthly membership fee is only $30 and the club operates as a non-profit.
According to Tony Luis, 90 per cent of attendees and former competitors of the gym have gone on to further education, training, or employment.