By Lauren Maddox, Hidden Valley High School
Workers moving weight equipment onto a truck and sounds of clanking and banging aren’t normal in high school. But the sounds echo around Hidden Valley High School. All because Hidden Valley is getting a new weight room.
Hidden Valley was fundraising for a new field house for the past two years; however, “the money was needed to be spent in other, more important places, such as security,” said Hidden Valley’s principal, Rhonda Stegall.
Hidden Valley applied for several grants and were told that the national foundation had picked Hidden Valley to be it’s regional nomination. But the school did not receive the grant. They then went to the school board to show how much support they had, and the school evidently approved a grant for Hidden Valley, Glenvar and Cave Spring to all get new weight rooms.
After the Newtown shooting, there was a need for more security, so the money that was for the weight room is now being used for those purposes at all three schools.
The estimated combined cost for a new weight room and locker room was about 1.1 million dollars, according to football head coach Scott Weaver. The booster club at Hidden Valley was able to raise enough money for both. The football team sold gold cards (cards that have a variety of coupons on them) and volunteered at Salem Red Sox games to raise money.
The old weight room was far too small and with the amount of athletes using it at one time, it became a hazard.
“The weight room was overall a safety hazard,” Stegall said. “There were too many people using it at one time and too little space.”
As a result, the boy’s locker room was used often.
“There wasn’t much time allowed for a good cleaning, so athletes were contracting skin infections,” Stegall said. “The [new] locker room will have better ventilation so it will be less of a hazard.”
Beginning this year, Hidden Valley’s district changed because the school was over-populated. Therefore, there are less students enrolled at Hidden Valley High School, causing classrooms to go unused.
The foreign language pod and the math pod, which are on opposite ends of a hallway, will be flip-flopped next year. This will allow the space for a new locker room with showers and weight room.
And along with the new weight room and locker room, there will be all new weight equipment.
“The new weight room will enhance our performance and it will give us the opportunity to workout to our full potential,” Weaver said. “It allows us to work out with the best equipment, and will give us an advantage throughout the season.”