High school opens doors on new $80,000 weight room

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Senior J.T Gallagher uses a leg machine in the high school's fitness room, which has been undergoing renovations. Staff Photo/Adam Bass
Sophomore Chris Safri lifts heavy weights on a barbell. Staff Photo/Adam Bass

By Max Bowen-max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

With support from the community and fellow athletic boosters clubs, tens of thousands of dollars were raised in only 40 days to completely renovate the weight room North Attleborough High School.

At Monday’s School Committee meeting, Head Football Coach Michael Strachan and Kevin Munley, president of the Gridiron Club, spoke of the new weight room and the work that went into upgrading it. Strachan said that the athletes were looking to other places to train and that it was important to create a place not only for them, but all students.

What we wanted to do was give not only our athletes, but the entire student body the best equipment available so they wouldn’t have to go to another fitness center,” he said at the Aug. 1 meeting.

Reached after the meeting, Strachan said that the original room had equipment that was more than 20 years old, and the paint and flooring had not been replaced. New equipment includes five weight racks, two benches, two universal weight machines, and a device called a tank, which the players can push or pull to build strength.

When planning the new weight room, Strachan said they looked at the needs of the entire student body. The new equipment allows for a kind of training that simply couldn’t be done before.

It was needed,” he said. “If you’re trying to train for certain teams, we didn’t have the equipment there to do it. What we’ve seen is the participation for football, soccer, wrestling, all using it on a daily basis now.”

Superintendent John Antonucci said this work had been identified as part of the school’s capital plan, adding that the equipment dated back as far as the 1980s.

Strachan added that the old weight room could be around 105 degrees in the summer. Among the improvements is a new air conditioning system.

In my opinion, not a healthy environment to work out in, for a lot of different reasons,” he said. “It was really about the air quality and flow. It was not an appropriate place for our students to work out.”

All told, the new room cost $80,000—$60,000 for the equipment, $10,000 for the flooring, and $4,000 for the mirrors. Triboro Paint donated $2,000 worth of paint supplies. Munley said that commitments were made by all of the booster clubs for the town’s sports teams, and other members of the community also gave donations. He added that one member of the club works at Anytime Fitness and had spoken before about the need to upgrade the room. Munley hopes that the school’s symbol can be painted on one of the walls as a art project.

It was a real team effort,” said Munley. “That way everyone can come use it and feel a part of it.”