By Matt Youngfrau
FALLSBURG May 28, 2002 We are rebuilding Fallsburg one building at a time, said a proud Tom Chi last week.
Chi owns several properties in Fallsburg, including Mountain Medical Accupuncture Clinic and Main Street Gym.
I want to put something in the community, he said. I want to reach out to other communities as well.
Chi had been teaching Kung Fu out of the clinic. He decided he wanted to expand so he looked into purchasing the gym.
With the assistance from the First National Bank of Jeffersonville and the Sullivan County Planning and Community Development Department, Chi received a grant for facade improvement, a loan and was one of 44 businesses recently added to the Sullivan County Empire Zone.
The planning department is so amazing, Chi said. It was nice to have their support.
Chi completed gutting the two-story building. It is still in the process of being renovated, but Chi has the plans for the gym already laid out.
In fact, he is looking toward expansion somewhere down the line.
The first step was for it to visually look nice, Chi explained. We ripped out the interior and replaced it with steel. We knocked out some walls to open up space on both floors. Well have a new ceiling and hardwood floor. It will look brand new.
The two floors will have separate entrances and exits. The top floor will be exclusively for boxing. Two rings will be in place upstairs for training. Heavy bags and other training equipment will also be brought in.
Chi will be working with Fallsburg Police Department DARE Officer Simmie Williams to create a youth boxing program. It will be a reward for students who display good conduct and have good report cards. It will also be a mentoring program.
I have had over 50 inquiries from kids about the boxing program, commented Chi. It has been overwhelming. I didnt realize how popular boxing was and how much it was needed.
The first floor of the gym will be utilized for many different programs. Among them will be Kung Fu classes. Some of the Kung Fu styles that will be taught include Wing Chun, Tai Chi, and Ching Ye.
There will be classes in Hatha Yoga Stretching, Mediation, Belly Dancing, Aerobics, Ballroom Dancing, and Pilates, as well. Chi is also looking for an instructor to teach fencing classes.
In the future, Chi hopes to have a Golden Gloves boxing team. After the gym has been open for at least a year, Chi wants to expand the gym for more boxing and weight lifting.
It would be really good, Chi said. The closest place that has similar activities is New Paltz. It is sorely needed (in this area).
Chi estimates that the second floor should be ready in 8-10 weeks, while the first floor should be finished in 12-16 weeks.
Chi is also looking for instructors for his programs. He asks anyone who is interested to please leave a message at 436-7000.