(CBS DETROIT)–  A transformation construction project is near completion at the Downtown Boxing Gym on Detroit’s east side, as crews chip away the past to make room for a “greening” future.

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“All Earth friendly installation, window, doors, roof.” Said DBG Founder Khali Sweeney during an interview Tuesday

Sweeney says for the past 5 years the gym has undergone a complete transformation. The 27,500 square foot, 80 year old building that once housed a bookbinding factory, now becoming a lean, GREEN, fighting machine.

“We put solar panels on the roof, and then to remove all those gigantic heating units that was just burning through a ton of gas.” Said Sweeney

The 231 solar roof panels conserve enough energy to power five homes, as well 38 energy-efficient windows have been installed.

Sweeney says the students here not only have an afterschool safe haven, and learning pods during school hours. The DBG is now incorporating energy-efficiency in their daily lesson plans.

“We got guys that want to be architects and stuff like that so of course they’re taking notice of it.” Said Sweeney

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“Our kids should be looking at this work as they look to future careers and just life long way of living.” Said Jessica Hauser, the Executive Director at DBG

They say being more energy-efficient saves them thousands of dollars every month, and that means more money for the youth programs.

“That money can go into new science or math projects or computer projects.” Said Sweeney

The Downtown Boxing Gym not only having a positive impact on the youth in the city, but now helping the environment as a whole.

“Cut back on that footprint it has to do good for the Earth and give us a break.” Sweeney said in closing

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April Morton