New and Improved Gym

Anthony Radogno, Reporter

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The new bench press cages located in the stadium gym at Morton West.

Morton West has made improvements to their stadium gym that will allow students to get an even better workout. Construction for this new gym began in early June of 2018, with an estimated total cost of $100,000. From the worn out floors, exercise machines, and small space, the stadium gym has been remolded from the floor up. The facility now consists of new floors, new machines and equipment, and students now have a better opportunity to become fit and stay in shape.

According to Morton West gym teacher, Chris Tompkins, “The old gym was functional, but not attractive. It should be a lot easier to get started on a fitness routine now.” Tompkins indicated the old gym had padded floors that were run down. The deadlift area had a wooden platform instead a rubber padded area. Through time and use, the wooden platform had been damaged by the weights.  Many machines were covered in dust and dirt and their padding was ripped and torn.

There was also limited workout equipment (machines) that could’ve been beneficial to students. The prior facility had 4 bench presses, the current space has 11 bench press cages for students to use. In regards to the new bench presses,  Vince Wrobleski ’19 stated “I would say my best (workout) would be the bench press because it works my upper body.” Superintendent Mr. Timothy Truesdale said the district had budgeted funds for the workout room improvement project. “The money for the bench presses alone cost approximately $3,000 each. The facility now has a total of 11 bench presses at a total cost of $31,000.

Prior to renovation, the area was segregated off, with most of the wide area not open to students. The entire area has now been opened up to give the gym much more space. Within this new space, there is more equipment and better equipment, ranging from hand free weights up to 100 pounds, 9 box jumpers, shoulder and chest press machines, 2 tread mills, 7 row machines, 10 bicycles, medicine balls and 4 weight sleds rounds out the facility’s equipment. “The students love the floor sleds,” Tompkins said. For the classes that use the stadium gym,  there’s a growing motivation every day. “Most of my classes have put in a good effort but there is a new level of excitement with having the new equipment. When that excitement wears off, we are left with our ability to focus on our fitness goals and not making excuses for skipping workouts.” Tompkins added.

Girls and boys both equally put in the effort to use the new gym. While boys steer more towards weight lifting, girls also do but steer more toward cardio skills. “We now have more cardio equipment (Bikes, treadmills, access to the stadium stairs, and track.) The girls are gravitating toward those activities and away from the weights.” Mr. Tompkins said. This environment that the gym provides to all students creates a motivation that drives students to push harder. Students try new things and challenge themselves to their own capability. The workouts the teachers enforce and the routines the students create have evolved for better workouts. “I’m actually lifting more and I’m becoming more self-motivated in myself to work harder.” Wrobleski added.

This renovation as good as it is, is not final,  Principal Joshua McMahon stated, “I know there’s more things to come.” Morton West wants to have the best for their students. “Students deserve the best and we want to offer the best.” McMahon said.


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