When Darien High students return to school on Aug. 27, they’ll have lots of new equipment in renovated weight and exercise rooms in the refurbished fitness center, according to school officials.
“We anticipate that we wil remain on schedule to have the new Team room, and the upgraded existing Fitness Center fully operational before students arrive for the school year,” Matthew Byrnes, assistant superintendent for secondary education, said in a recent memo.
The new Team Room has been painted, mirrors have been hung, double doors have been installed, and rubberized flooring has been put down, Byrnes said.
The current schedule calls for equipment to be delivered this week, removal of equipment from the current Fitness Room to make it ready for renovations (Aug. 6 to 10), painting the current Fitness Room (Aug. 13 to 15), installing mirrors in the current Fitness Room (Aug. 16 to 17), and delivery of new equipment for the Fitness Room (Aug. 20-21). Then school starts on Aug. 27.
Michael Sullivan, director of health, athletics and physical education at the high school, has been working with both the construction crews and the booster club on the project, Byrnes said.
“Limited funds are being held in reserve for the purpose of identifying areas of need once the fitness centers open for students and athletes,” Byrnes wrote. “Should certain pieces of equipment prove to be of higher demand than others, we will order more of the more popular pieces.”
Some of the complaints about the old fitness room were that it was too overcrowded (see attached pictures), that it wasn’t as safe as it could be, that the old equipment and the design of the room held back athletes from the full benefits of a weight/exercise room, and that the equipment there wasn’t optimal for encouraging students to continue using exercise equipment after high school.
Thanks to the Blue Wave Booster Club
This year’s improvements to the rooms that contain the high school’s exercise machines came because the Blue Wave Booster Club offered to pay for the extensive work and buy some new equipment.
“It took the Blue Wave Boosters very, very generous fundraising and donations to make this happen,” Byrnes told the Board of Education at its meeting on Tuesday.
The overall cost of the project is $154,569.71.
That includes $50,025 in aerobic exercise equipment, $44,466 in Cybex weightlifting and similar equipment, $15,767 in weight equipment and $44,312 in other costs, which include $15,000 for construction, $8,000 for mirrors and $6,700 for flooring.
But wait—there’s more:
“In addition, the booster cliub has strongly supported the use of an audio/video system to support physical education class instruction and team training/film study,” Byrne wrote. “Reserve funds/additional gifts will be explored for this reason.”