PCS in the Press + Coastal Challenge '17

posted on 07/15/17 by Barrett

PORTLAND – Because it opened just five months ago, you might say that Portland Community Squash is in its infancy. The way things are shaping up, PCS appears to be something of a prodigy.

Read the Press Herald article

Every summer, the community rallies together to raise funds for scholarships and transportation assistance for the upcoming school year. The Coastal Challenge makes it fun. Click reply for more information or visit:

2017 Coastal Challenge

PCS hires Director of Education

posted on 07/15/17 by Barrett

Katrina Buchta joins Portland Community Squash with a deep passion for youth mentorship and college access, coupled with a wide range of experiences as an educator, supporting youth of all ages in various settings. She is a graduate of Bates College and has worked with TRiO Upward Bound at Bowdoin College, Lewiston High School's Post-Secondary Aspirations Program, Tree Street Youth, and many other schools and youth organizations in Maine. She also serves as a committee member on the Maine Team for Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative to strengthen school counseling and college aspiration. She is excited to become a part of the PCS community and firmly believes in the mission of using squash as a platform to empower youth, build a college-going culture, and strengthen the local community by forming unity across lines of difference. Katrina is eager to implement engaging academic programs and to help establish Portland Community Squash as a premier youth development program in Maine.

The Portland Community Squash Ball

posted on 03/14/17 by Barrett

RSVP Now!

Gratitude is Powerful

posted on 03/014/17 by Barrett

“Gratitude is powerful”

March 7th, 2017

Dear PCS Community,

I cannot start this letter without saying thank you.

I am Elise, one of the staff at PCS and a parent of a middle schooler, who is in the junior squash program.

Our family has been part of the Portland squash community for the last two years, when practices were held the Portland YMCA. We moved to the USA from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Portland Community Squash gave us the sense of feeling home again. The community means a lot to my family. I am writing to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. The sanctuary at 66 Noyes Street has new life as a warm and welcoming place for people to come together and enjoy squash.

Thank you for trusting and believing in this big project, which is now real. I can assure you that your donation will make a tremendous difference in the community. It is amazing to see the smile on people's face when they reach the door of this safe and loving place. Thank you again for your generous donation, which has allowed me to enjoy this beautiful, peaceful place as a member, parent, and staff.

The facility opened on January 10th, 2017. The courts are fully used in the morning and from lunch until 9 pm. The Junior Squash League, which includes academics, wellness and squash is available to every middle school and high school in Portland. My daughter, Audrey participates on the King Middle School team. Our goal is to reach 200 members (currently 165) and 120 students (currently 60).

Another important goal is to create a diverse and inclusive community. Diversity is what make us strong, which is why we have 60 full scholarships available for our Junior Squash League. We are also launching a leadership program, Rally Portland, which we hope will be a sanctioned National Urban Squash and Education program in the next two years. We are very excited to welcome twenty sixth graders to Rally Portland in August.

On behalf of all of us at PCS thank you again for participating in this big project. None of our work could be done without your amazing support.

Sincerely,

Elise Malongi

Download the Letter

Portland Community Squash finally has a home, in former synagogue

posted on 03/01/17 by Barrett

Read Article

Portland Community Squash Cuts Ribbon to New Facility

posted on 03/01/17 by Barrett

Read Article

From sacred space to sport courts: Squash fans have synagogue in their sights

posted on 06/07/2016 by Barrett

Please click the link below for an update on our Facility Location.

Read Article

WALLS - the newest short by Portland Community Squash

posted on 6/6/2016 by Barrett

PCS Girls Compete in First Match 2.27.16

posted on 3/4/2016 by Barrett

Thank you to SquashBusters Lawrence for hosting the Portland Community Squash girls for their first squash match!

The faces of Portland Community Squash - Barrett Takesian

posted on 1/6/2016 by Barrett

Click the video to hear Barrett describe the community that inspires him every day. Big thanks to P3 for producing the December series, 'The faces of Portland Community Squash'. Please take this last opportunity to make a gift to the 2015 Year End Campaign. PCS is also in need of more racquets, shoes, and goggles as the program continues to grow!

Make Your Year End Gift Now

Your Gift Supports:

  • $25 – One hour of private coaching
  • $50 – Equipment for one student
  • $100 – One week of team coaching
  • $250 – Introduce squash to a new school
  • $500 – Entry Fee for MS Nationals at Yale

For more information, contact Barrett Takesian at barrett@pcsquash.com

The faces of Portland Community Squash - Greg Born

posted on 1/6/2016 by Barrett

Greg Born has been growing the adult squash community in Maine for the last five years, but after volunteering at an established urban squash program, Greg's new passion is combining the adult community with urban squash. Support bringing urban squash to Maine by making your year end gift today.

Make Your Year End Gift Now

Your Gift Supports:

  • $25 – One hour of private coaching
  • $50 – Equipment for one student
  • $100 – One week of team coaching
  • $250 – Introduce squash to a new school
  • $500 – Entry Fee for MS Nationals at Yale

For more information, contact Barrett Takesian at barrett@pcsquash.com

The faces of Portland Community Squash - Devon Case

posted on 12/21/2015 by Barrett

PCS is in schools every week helping students build self-confidence, develop athletic ability and have fun!

Watch the video to hear from Devon, a Junior at Casco Bay High School, about why he loves squash and why a gift to PCS now will make an important difference.

Make Your Year End Gift Now

Your Gift Supports:

  • $25 – One hour of private coaching
  • $50 – Equipment for one student
  • $100 – One week of team coaching
  • $250 – Introduce squash to a new school
  • $500 – Entry Fee for MS Nationals at Yale

For more information, contact Barrett Takesian at barrett@pcsquash.com

2015 Year End Update

posted on 12/21/2015 by Barrett

Please click the link below for an update on Junior Squash, Facility Location, The Board, College Courts, and The Maine Open.

2015 Year End Update

Project Update Announcement

posted on 10/2/2015 by Barrett

For the past two years, Portland Community Squash and Bayside Bowl have worked jointly to plan the construction of a state-of-the-art squash facility above eight new bowling lanes at 71 Hanover Street adjacent to the existing Bayside Bowl. After extensive analysis of different court options, as well as an in-depth engineering review, construction and installation of nine squash courts and a mezzanine turned out to be cost prohibitive on the second floor of the building with bowling lanes below. As a result, developer Justin Alfond and Portland Community Squash have jointly agreed not to continue to plan for the PCS facilities to be located in this expansion project.

Justin Alfond stated, “It’s been a great opportunity to work with the Portland Community Squash board and other volunteers. Their vision, broad community support and commitment to students are impressive. I remain committed to helping PCS find a location that is the best fit for their project.”

Barrett Takesian, President of PCS, said: “We appreciate the support that Justin has given us. He has committed substantial resources to trying to make our plan work in his project. He has been a champion of our mission, and we are grateful for his continued support.”

Moving forward, Portland Community Squash is looking to develop 10,000 – 15,000 square feet of ground-floor space with a ceiling height equal or greater than 22 feet to accommodate eight singles courts, one doubles court, classrooms, and locker rooms. PCS is already in conversations with other developers and touring commercial listings for space that can be adapted to the project. PCS’s goal is to take advantage of the 2016 construction season so as to have the new squash facility built by the fall of 2016.

PCS is proud of its many accomplishments to date:

  • $500,000 raised for its Capital Campaign
  • 1,577 individuals on its mailing list
  • 694 financial supporters
  • 496 interested in future membership
  • 6 school partners

By building the first regulation squash facility in Maine, beyond the colleges, Portland Community Squash will provide Portland youth and adults with a versatile squash facility where paying members, junior leagues and an urban squash program will thrive under one roof. Membership fees will cover the operating expenses of the facility, the junior squash league will give students from the greater Portland area a chance to compete at the national level, and our urban squash program, Rally Portland, will combine squash, academic support, and community service to help students from low income backgrounds navigate the road from middle school to college graduation.

Please reach out to PCS President, Barrett Takesian at barrett@pcsquash.com, with inquiries. Thank you.

Great weekend for PCS

posted on 09/23/2015 by Barrett

Friday - 9/11/15 - PCS presented to eight gym classes at Portland High School, introducing 300 first year students to squash.

Saturday - 9/12/15 - PCS united over 50 current players and alumni from Bowdoin and Colby to raise awareness about PCS.

Sunday - 9/13/15 - Eight teams came together for the 2015 Coastal Challenge to raise $50,000. Team Portland won The Coastal Cup.

PCS gets nod from U.S. Squash as a model for the sport.

posted on 06/19/2015 by Barrett

Check out the article on in US Squash Magazine. Not only are we serving a demand, but we're seen as a model for other cities across the country.

The New Facility

posted on 06/09/2015 by Barrett

The scope of the new Portland Community Squash facility involves 15,000 sq feet of high ceiling space to be built above Bayside Bowl in Portland’s bayside neighborhood. Inside we plan to have eight international singles courts, one doubles court, a Full Gym space and locker rooms. The facility will be large enough for Maine to begin hosting tournaments, and for junior and adult programs to thrive simultaneously. The plans emphasize bringing light into the building and creating comfortable viewing areas to foster community around the courts.

The $2.4 million expansion will also add eight 10-pin bowling lanes to Bayside Bowl below the squash facility, bringing them up to a total of 20 lanes. It will also expand the dining and lounge area, add a rooftop lounge and event space, along with a DJ platform and backroom facilities.

The project will create a permanent home Portland Community Squash above the bowling alley, and aligns with the vision to transform the industrial bayside area into a more pedestrian-friendly neighborhood.

The PCS Mission Video

posted on 06/09/2015 by Barrett

PCS intends to combine all the benefits of squash under one roof. Our facility will serve unmet adult demand, provide facilities for school squash teams, and develop an urban squash program to introduce more local youth to the game of squash. Take a look and get involved!

PCS makes the front page of the Portland Press Herald

posted on 06/09/2015 by Barrett

The Portland Press Herald published a front-page story about the $2.4M facility that will house Portland Community Squash and Bayside Bowl.

PCS wins DIII consolation at Middle School Nationals

posted on 06/09/2015 by Barrett

On January 23rd, Coach Paul and five students represented Portland Community Squash at Middle School Nationals at Yale University. In the team’s first match on the national stage, PCS played Greenwich-WMS-Team A. The contest was tied 2 matches a piece, and came down to the number one players. PCS lost the deciding match 3-1, but our players emerged proud of their debut performance.

There were no losses after Friday. In the second match, PCS matched up against New Canaan Saxe. Portland’s 3,4,5 players all scored 3-1 victories, and our number 2, John Moran fought back from an 0-2 deficit only to lose by 3 points in game 5. The snow gave Portland a default victory on Saturday night, and on Sunday, Portland took home a deciding 5-0 victory over Greenwich-WMS-Team B. Thank you to Coach Paul, the families that made the trek, and the great sportsmanship our students displayed while representing Portland.

Inaugural Coastal Challenge raises $65,000

posted on 06/09/2015 by Barrett

What an amazing inaugural event! 58 participants raised money for their respective teams, bringing in 320 unique donors. Team Foreside won The Coastal Cup, raising $11,765. Sandy Spaulding won The Spaulding Cup, an award named after the top fundraiser in the first Coastal Challenge. Over forty squash players made it to the Bowdoin squash courts to compete for The PCS Cup – the coveted award going to the top squash team. Team Brunswick emerged victorious from the Port Draw, and Team USA won the Starboard Draw. The finals came down to two former Bowdoin #1s, Palmer Higgins (Brunswick) and Andrew Hilboldt (USA). Hilboldt won the sudden death point, capturing the cup for Team USA!

The day was fun and the T-shirts were worth fighting over (thanks Artforms!), but the event was all about Portland youth. $65,000 will help PCS and The YMCA triple the size of youth squash programs in Portland this year. Additionally, with these funds PCS is much closer to opening a facility – one filled with state-of-the-art courts and classrooms for the benefit of Portland youth and the entire community. We could not have done this without your help.

PCS Middle School Squash Program grows to 59 participants!

posted on 06/09/2015 by Barrett

After Portland Community Squash introduced squash to King School 6th graders during gym, our middle school squash program at the Portland Y grew from 8 participants to 59! We have been asked to come speak to 7th and 8th graders at King and also at other schools, but we have already reached capacity from participation by one grade at one school. After the initial rush to the courts, we have settled into a routine of four practices a week with approximately 40 enthusiastic students. A match against the Brunswick youth program waits ahead!