Fitness Center closes as construction continues

All student and faculty use of the High School Fitness Center, art classrooms and athletic offices will cease in mid-February as part of New Frontiers construction, according to several reports from Athletic Director John Farmer and Fitness Center Supervisor Andy Patros. This is because the spaces will be under construction.

The Fitness Center, along with the offices of the athletics department and several art classrooms, will be transformed into high quality science classrooms along with a new maker workshop, which will be used by the robotics team. The new Fitness Center will be available to students and faculty at the beginning of next school year and will be located on the bottom floor of the new building. Consequently, students and faculty will not have access to fitness equipment located in school from February to August.

At the moment, there are no alternatives in place for students and faculty to use a fitness center on campus. Alternatives, such as a trailer with fitness equipment, have been discussed by the athletics department, but the ideas have been deemed illogical.

Adi Sethi (’19), who joined the fitness team after Alternatives this year, now has to find different ways to work out. “I wish there was an alternative… I use the bike a lot and I lift weights, so I kind of wish they could keep that,” Sethi said.

Sports teams who use the Fitness Center as part of their practice routine, specifically the fitness team, crew and rugby programs, have had to adjust their practice schedules in response to this development.

The fitness team, which works out as a unit on Mondays and Wednesdays, will disband once the Fitness Center closes its doors for the second semester.

The new Fitness Center will be “longer but narrower than the current center,” Patros said. “We wanted to make it a much more functional gym, with more functional routines and exercises, so with it being narrower it’s going to be a little bit difficult to put that in motion,” he said.

Patros, amongst several other members of the athletics and arts department, was consulted in regarding the planning of the new Fitness Center.

Aidan Gazidis (’17), a member of the crew team, sees the closing of the Fitness Center as having a negative impact on his fitness schedule.  Gazidis often works out in the morning before school, but now has to prepare to work out somewhere else outside of school. “It’s annoying because there are a lot of kids that go to a gym, and just a month can make a difference for a lot of people. I have to get a gym membership somewhere for a month which can be really expensive,” Gazidis said.

Farmer acknowledges how utilized the current fitness center is and how its loss will change the routine of many students. “[The fitness center] is, from my observation, one of the most used spaces in the school, and it will impact [students] greatly from the standpoint that something that people have come to rely on and expect won’t be there,” he said.

However, the temporary shut down of the Fitness Center is an unavoidable consequence in the face of the new Fitness Center being built. “Everyone needs to make concessions in the short term for the longer time benefit of a better Fitness Center in the near future,” Farmer said.