(Left to right) WHS football players Chris Sweeney, Joe Scaglione and David Kane show off some of the new free weights. Credits: Patricia Harris
Cutting the ribbon for the high school’s new fitness center are (from left) Athletic Supervisor Sandy Mamary, Superintendent Margaret Dolan and Principal Peter Renwick. Credits: Patricia Harris
Westfield High School Holds Ribbon Cutting for New Fitness Center
Friday, September 7, 2012 • 10:17pm
Westfield High School administrators and members of the athletic department joined with student athletes September 6 to show off their new fitness center at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The old gym at the high school has been renovated into a state-of-the-art facility with machine weights, free weights, four types of cardiovascular machines and TRX suspension devices. The space has been painted, mirrors installed along one wall and banners hung above them proclaiming “Blue Devil Strength” and listing all the groups and individuals who contributed to the project.
“This is a wonderful facility,” principal Peter Renwick said as he addressed a crowded room. “This facility represents a place where students can truly gain confidence.”
He added the center will benefit all students—those in physical education classes as well as those participating in school sports.
The new facility was made possible through a collaboration of funding from the Westfield Board of Education and donations from the Westfield Booster Association, town youth programs and individuals in the community.
Athletic supervisor Sandy Mamary said the project has been in the works since 1995. Discussions with the booster association and other funders raised about $100,000, and the board of education provided another $50,000.
During her remarks, Mamary said that having the new facility will allow athletes to train better and thus reduce the risk of injury, “a subject near and dear to my heart.”
Three football players—David Kane, Joe Scaglione and Chris Sweeney—expressed their pleasure with the new equipment, which has been available to them since spring. They said they mostly use the free weights and benches for an hour a day, six days a week.
“Not even close” is the way they described the improvements over the old equipment they previously used.
“It’s better than my private gym,” said Scaglione.
Lisa Merrill, the school’s assistant athletic trainer, said the new facility gives coaches and students more options in devising training routines. “It’s also good to make the students stronger and more flexible, thus preventing injuries,” she said.
“Not many people are as fortunate as we are to have the support of the community,” she added.
Maggie McFadden, coordinator of the 9-12 physical education program, said the new facility could accommodate 40 students at one time and allow them to customize their activity.
“This is only going to make our program better,” she predicted.
Among the donors is Paul Byrne, the president of Precor, Inc., a manufacturer of fitness equipment. Byrne graduated from the high school in 1969.
Other individuals are listed as bronze, silver, gold and platinum donors.
Among the community groups who contributed are the Westfield Police Athletic League, the Westfield LaCrosse Club, the Westfield Soccer Association, the Westfield Baseball League, the Girls Softball League of Westfield, the Friends of Westfield Track & Field, the Westfield Ice Hockey Parents Association and the Westfield Basketball Association.