Fit use for found moneyWhen students returned to class Tuesday at Superior High School, they found a belated Christmas gift awaiting.
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
When students returned to class Tuesday at Superior High School, they found a belated Christmas gift awaiting.
A new fitness room equipped with almost three dozen exercise machines was open and ready for use.
The fitness room has been in the works since the Superior school district discovered a windfall of about $90,000 earlier this year. The money — an excess from past high school activities funds — had been stashed away in an account by a previous administrator, said Superintendent Janna Stevens. She didn’t know how many decades had passed since then, but the funds were forgotten until they showed up in a recent audit.
Because the money originally came from high school activity funds, it could only be reapplied to the school’s activity accounts.
A committee met in October to discuss the best use for the money and decided upon a fitness room, which would be available to staff and students.
On Nov. 8, the Superior School Board approved a bid of $61,581.80 from MLG Fitness to equip the new room. The nearly $30,000 remaining from the CD investment will be placed in a managed fund designated for upkeep and replacement of equipment in the fitness room.
“It’s going to be really quite impressive,” Stevens said.
The new fitness room occupies what were once classrooms B-5 and B-6. It is outfitted with 31 pieces of equipment purchased from MLG Fitness and a few exercise bikes that had previously been set up in the high school’s weight room.
The current weight room will remain essentially as it is, said activities director Ray Kosey. Aside from relocating the exercise bikes, few other changes are expected.
The fitness room will be scheduled for use by physical education classes during the school day, with slots of time available for athletic teams before school and the possibility of after-school availability as well. It will not be open to the public because of liability issues.
Gary Niemi, director of buildings and grounds, said the fitness room required very little structural work to prepare the space for the new exercise equipment. Puzzle-type flooring was installed to protect the tile floor, and a small amount of electrical work was needed to accommodate the new treadmills.
Board member Len Albrecht, who also coaches the high school girls soccer team, said the upgrade was overdue. Exercise equipment in the current weight room was sparse and had never been replaced, he said.
Fellow board member Christina Kintop agreed, calling the high school’s weight room “archaic.”
“We still have some of the old equipment that’s been there forever, but there has been some modern equipment added too,” Kosey said. Past purchases have not required board approval, he said, so board members may not be aware of them.
The new arrangement will allow the fitness center to be used for cardio-vascular work, while the weight room will specialize in strength training.