Having opened a staff fitness center on the final day of the school year, the Magazine School District is seeing representatives of about 10 families each week utilize the new facility.
Located just east of the school’s administration building in a converted carport, the fitness center features treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes and a weight machine, which can be operated without use of a spotter. Also available are dumbbells ranging from two to 20 pounds and band and belt weights and charts for proper stretching and such.
While working out, a door can be raised to allow for a view of the district’s cross country course, or can be lowered to provide for privacy during evening workouts.
“Most of the fitness centers have a window and that’s why we decided to put one in,” school curriculum coordinator Shane Gordon said last week.
Otherwise there is an MP3 system for music or a television mounted for those using with machines facing west.
The center also has a kitchen area with a refrigerator stocked with bottled water. The kitchen also doubles as a children’s area, complete with a television for video playing and a play pen for smaller children.
“You do better if you feel better so we’re tyring to help people have an opportunity to be healthy if they want to be,” said Gordon.
Fitness opportunities are not necessarily new at the school. Equipment has been available at the district’s safe room but when additional equipment was acquired and no easy way to provide access to employees on both campuses, the decision was made to create the fitness center.
Gordon said the district will permit use of the facility during a teacher’s prep period and that the center is accessible to staff members through their school keys and is therefore available in the evenings.
The Wellness Center and the Fitness Center addition was established through the State grant made possible and supported by Arkansas’ Governor Mike Beebe and the Arkansas Tobacco Excise Tax created by Arkansas Act 180 of 2009. The funds are used to promote health, wellness, and academic achievement in Arkansas’ public schools, according to wellness center coordinator Donna Robinson.