Ribbon cut on new G-AMS fitness center

Shawn Hardy
Lio Salazar, last year’s Greencastle-Antrim Middle School Student Council president, talks with Principal Mark Herman in front of a Functional Trainer, one of the pieces of equipment in the new fitness center financed by student council fundraisers.

Officers from the 2016-17 Greencastle-Antrim Middle School Student Council cut the ribbon on the school’s new fitness center during an open house Monday evening.

Principal Mark Herman said “this group and their peers caught our vision” and raised about $25,000. The money was used to turn a shell of a storage area into a fully equipped fitness center, located just off the middle school gym.

“It was something Mr. Herman was passionate about and it was a good cause,” said Lio Salazar, who was student council president last year. He was joined by Jordan Rist, vice president, Luke Montedoro, treasurer, and Paris Thiele, secretary, as the group organized fundraisers including magazine and candy sales, floor hockey and dodgeball tournaments and an after-school social.

The equipment was purchased from Karen and Jeff Douglas of Fitness Connection in Greencastle, who provided advice on age-appropriate selections. Herman pointed out that middle schoolers are a diverse bunch physically — from children to nearly adults.

G-AMS was looking for “what’s appropriate, beneficial and safe in a limited space.”

What was put in place is a variety of multi-functional equipment. For example, there is a Functional Trainer with about 15 different exercise options, free weights, benches, stability balls, agility ladders and power racks for core exercises.

Jeremy Eby, wellness teacher, said he can’t wait to start looking at YouTube videos about the Functional Trainer.

He also is excited about the Smart Plyo Cube. The box can be used in different ways and is padded for safety. Eby remembers that wooden boxes were used when he was a student.

The new space is twice as large as the previous area housing old equipment and the concrete and ripped carpet have been replaced by rubber flooring.

“I’m looking forward to the kids using it,” Eby said. “They were the ones that funded it.”

In addition to student council, the wellness staff and Fitness Connection, Herman thanked K&K Doors, Wertner Signs, Metz Corp. and its staff and Ryan Colmer – previously of Great American Fundraising Opportunities, as well as Vicki Ritchey, athletic director, and JC Wilson, chief financial support services officer.

This year, Herman plans to ask student council for a centralized sound system to fill the gym, cardio room and fitness room with music.