Guilford High may get new weight room

By Rachael Scarborough King, Register Staff
Feb. 28, 2008

GUILFORD — A group of parents of Guilford High School students is hoping for the Board of Education’s approval to set up an athletic training room in an old portable classroom near the football field.

The plan has been presented to the board, which could vote on it March 10. Under the proposal, the school’s weight room would move from a space in the main high school building to the larger outbuilding.

The current training room is beneath the high school’s auxiliary gym.

The parents are offering to pay for the project, which would include donated services to make the building appropriate as a weight room and some new equipment.

Ron Nault, one of the parents working on the proposal, said the move would roughly double the size of the training facility. He estimated that the value of the donated services will be at least $10,000.

“The existing (training room) is small and crowded and booked all the time,” Nault said. “It’s a way to get a better facility there at the high school at no cost to the taxpayers or the Board of Education.”

Nault said that the initial effort would be to refurbish the building and transfer the high school’s weights and machines there.

“Now, two people can’t use adjacent machines because they’re so crowded,” he said. “The additional equipment would follow, but the additional space would be huge.”

Athletic Director Chip Dorwin said that the high school’s sports and physical education programs have outgrown the current fitness room.

“We’re very crowded and the environment is not real good,” Dorwin said. “It’s an interior room, so there are no windows (and) ventilation is not as good as what we would like.”

Dorwin called the proposal to move the facility “a great concept.”

Superintendent of Schools Thomas Forcella said the outbuilding where the parents hope to relocate the weight room is used as storage for custodial staff and the school’s drama program. He is looking into whether the existing weight room is large enough to store those items.

Forcella said he thinks the new weight room could go ahead “as long as the group that is looking to refurbish that area and make it into a weight facility understands that there’s the possibility that if we do have a project at the school, that that building may be demolished.”

The school district is looking into the possibility of replacing or renovating the high school. Nault said the parents are aware that the outbuilding could be removed during construction.

“With those (plans) being four years away or more, we would deem it worthwhile to go ahead with our plan anyway, even if this building gets torn down as part of a high school expansion,” he said. “Any equipment we purchase would obviously be reusable into the new facility.”

Board of Education Chairman Bill Bloss called the idea for a new weight room “a really nice thing.”

“We got that proposal (in early February) and are going to try to figure out how to do it,” he said.

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