New Level Sports Ministries (NLSM) began with a mission to utilize sports to help young African American students prepare for the academic and financial challenges of college. Over time, NLSM adapted into a development program that also includes families in order to initiate economic and social change. Building on the initial success, NLSM hosted a youth summit with over 100 high school students, resulting in the strengthening of the organization’s five pillars: Sports, Education, Personal Growth, Business, and Arts. It was also at this summit that the youth expressed the desire to build a place to realize these five pillars. Thus, the Youth Village Campus Plan was born.
In order to shape the concept of the village, ROSSETTI led a Discover Workshop with NLSM to connect the five pillars to various facilities. The design team learned that several facilities can serve numerous programs to accommodate a well-rounded campus beyond sports and education. Centered around athletics, the design concept integrates accessibility, sustainability and resiliency with wellness to develop an informed mixed-use campus. Utilizing the athletic field in the site, the proposed campus program includes a well-balanced mix of athletics, culture, retail, cafes, offices, and residential. Open parks and plazas complement the buildings, offer a variety of activities, and provide the connective tissue that knits spaces together.
Born from a community desiring change, the Youth Village has already adapted to future uses and changing markets. What began as 3-blocks has now grown into a 30-acre development, expanding to the west and south. Since the original master plan was completed, NLSM has implemented some of the proposed projects, such as turning a snow-dump site into an athletic field and starting construction on an early childhood development center and other buildings. Through human-scaled design, the Youth Village is a physical manifestation of NLSM: a new center filled with inclusive programs that will leverage opportunities for the youth and their families.
Battle Creek, Michigan