Group looking into upgrading MHS weight roomA committee has been formed to possibly renovate the weight-training facilities at Mitchell High School, with one booster saying he hopes the finished project will be on par with college weight rooms in South Dakota.
By: Aaron Saunders, The Daily Republic
A committee has been formed to possibly renovate the weight-training facilities at Mitchell High School, with one booster saying he hopes the finished project will be on par with college weight rooms in South Dakota.
Mitchell High School officials are looking into purchasing new equipment for the weight room to make working out more efficient for its student-athletes. The proposed plan to improve the current MHS weight room will cost an estimated $80,000, according to MHS Activities Director Geoff Gross.
The proposed upgrades would increase the efficiency and production in the weight room. Instead of having different places to bench press, squat and deadlift sprawled around the weight room, the school is looking at getting universal training stations, which would allow six to nine student-athletes to complete workouts at the same time on one machine. Some of the equipment currently being used at the school is 20 to 30 years old.
MHS football coach Kent VanOverschelde said Mitchell High has agreed to some funds for the project, but fundraising and contributions from individual donors will also be necessary to help pay for the equipment.
“Our plan is to create a project where the student-athletes can get involved, as well as reach out to former athletes to see if they are interested in getting into this project monetarily,” VanOverschelde said.
If everything goes according to plan, Gross said the estimated arrival for the equipment is June 1, right before the fall sports preseason begins. VanOverschelde has contacted Rogers Athletics — a strength and training equipment company — but Gross said the equipment sales must go to bid before getting purchased to find the right deal.
Much of the equipment in the weight room now was purchased by the school but some of it was donated from a variety of different places, including Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell.
“Our goal is to keep the kids in a teachable environment because there are a lot of competitors in the fitness market around town. … We are trying to keep our kids working with our coaches,” Gross said about the proposed upgrades.
Gross, who is in his fifth year at MHS, said the driving force behind the plans is VanOverschelde.
“We wanted to find a way to use the space we have and see what products are out there to help us be as productive as possible,” said VanOverschelde, who said the idea came from discussions with coaches and physical education teachers at the school.
“Our vision as we continue to develop this plan is to increase our overall usage of this weight room,” VanOverschelde said.
Members of Mitchell High School athletic programs, physical education classes and other school personnel will be allowed to use the new equipment, but Gross said the school is not planning to sell memberships for the public to use the room.
The first committee meeting to discuss the changes in the weight room is at 7 p.m. Monday. VanOverschelde will be among the attendees and another member will be Mike Mohr.
Mohr, a Mitchell High alum and assistant eighth-grade football coach who helps supervise the weight room over the summer, said he considers the current weight room adequate.
“Our hope is that this facility isn’t going to be (just) adequate anymore,” said Mohr, who played football with VanOverschelde at MHS in the ’80s. “Hopefully, it will be one of the best in the state. My vision is for it to rival college facilities throughout the state.”
In addition to improving the efficiency and production for student-athletes, Arend Kuyper said the new equipment will enhance safety. Kuyper is a physical education teacher at Mitchell High School and coaches the club powerlifting team at MHS.