Town looks to pump up LHS weight room

Jun 6, 2019 by

Published June 5, 2019


LYNNFIELD — Local officials are looking to upgrade Lynnfield High School’s weight room.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Phil Crawford, Town Administrator Rob Dolan and DPW Director John Tomasz appeared at the School Committee’s May 28 meeting to kick off a preliminary discussion about transforming the high school’s weight room into a modern fitness center.

Crawford recalled that the weight room has not been upgraded since the high school was renovated in the early 2000s. He noted that the town’s substance abuse coalition, A Healthy Lynnfield, have discussed how fitness can benefit students’ social-emotional well-being.

“We had a discussion about the condition of the high school’s fitness center, and we came down to take a look at it,” said Crawford. “There are several treadmills there that are no longer operational and there are some secondhand spin bikes that are still operational. The rest of the equipment is not really usable.”

Crawford also said the high school’s weight room is packed.

“There is a lot of equipment there that is jammed together,” said Crawford. “There is not enough room with the amount of equipment there, and some of that equipment is in need of repair.”

Crawford said he has reached out to some local vendors and the Lynnfield Athletic Association about purchasing new fitness equipment for the high school.

LOCAL OFFICIALS are looking to upgrade Lynnfield High School’s weight room as part of an upcoming capital project. (Dan Tomasello Photo)

“I think we could do a little public-private partnership,” said Crawford. “The town can work on renovating the space, what kind of new equipment we are going to put in there and how it gets funded.”

Dolan said the LHS weight room project would benefit all high school students and not just the athletic teams.

“I have learned in the past that when run correctly, fitness centers are a very healthy option for all students,” said Dolan. “That is exactly what we need. It’s a safe place for kids to gather. Kids need all sorts of options, particularly in a town like Lynnfield where there isn’t a Boys’ and Girls’ Club. We hope it provides a healthy option for all teens.”

Dolan said Town Meeting will need to allocate funds for the project. He envisions the weight room renovation project will be funded in part by Free Cash, the Real Estate Fund and the Overlay Account.

“It would be a one-time expense,” said Dolan. “We wouldn’t use any funds from the operating budget because (the town) is pretty strapped right now.”

While Dolan noted the LHS weight room project is still in the preliminary stages, he said there are potential options officials could undertake. He said the weight room could be combined with a nearby storage area nicknamed “the dirt room.” He also said officials could just focus on the existing weight room, which he said is in “tired shape.”

Tomasz said the weight room is about 1,500 square feet. He said there are 13 cardio machines “that don’t work at all or are hardly used” because they are in poor condition. He also said dumbbells and weight benches need to be replaced. In addition to purchasing new equipment, he said the room needs to be repainted, new lighting needs to be installed and the area needs some type of a ventilation system.

Gronk Fitness gave local officials a cost estimate for purchasing 14 pieces of new cardio equipment, which Tomasz said would tentatively cost $50,000. If the existing weight room gets combined with the dirt room, Tomasz said an additional 1,000 square feet could expand the room.

Tomasz estimates the project would tentatively cost around $150,000.

“That would get it up to a minimally satisfactory type of cardio and weight room arrangement,” said Tomasz.

Dolan said school officials would be involved with the decision-making process.

“We have some decisions to make collectively,” said Dolan.

School Committee Chairman Jamie Hayman expressed his support for the project.

“The fitness center is in really rough shape,” said Hayman. “It’s definitely a need.”

Superintendent Jane Tremblay agreed.

“This is something the high school has wanted to do for a long time,” said Tremblay.

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