Belding school board OKs purchase of new workout equipment

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 11:17 am on Thursday, March 01, 2012

Jordan Witzel, a freshman at Belding High School, performs a squat exercise with weights during a strength and conditioning class Tuesday afternoon. — Daily News/Cory Smith

BELDING — When Belding High School students enter their new weight room facility this fall, they’ll be doing so with a room full of brand new equipment.

Last week members of the Belding Area Schools Board of Education approved to spend $79,637.18 in bond money to purchase equipment for the new weight room, which is being built as part of the $38.8 million bond levy that voters approved in 2010.

“It’s outstanding,” Belding High School Principal Brett Zuver said. “Our strength and conditioning coach, Joel Madsen, has done an incredible job of researching the equipment; it’s the best of the best. Our kids will have excellent equipment.”

Zuver said he expects big advantages for his students once the room is completed and fitted with the new equipment for the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year.

“We hope this helps our kids to be more physically fit and also for our athletic teams to be more competitive,” he said. “With the indoor walking track being built inside above the new gymnasium, which the weight room will open right up to, it really will give us a wide variety of options for fitness drills.”

Chase Bower, a freshman at Belding High School, performs a bench press exercise with weights during a strength and conditioning class Tuesday afternoon. — Daily News/Cory Smith


Madsen, who is also a physical education teacher at Belding High School, said the room will be much bigger than the current weight room, allowing for more opportunities for students at Belding High School.

“It’s going to be a third bigger, as far as space is concerned,” he said. “We’ll have natural light coming in, as opposed to our current weight room which has no windows.”

Madsen said the extra space will allow for more students to work at one time with less waiting time to use the equipment.

“We’ll be able to get 50 kids working at a time and no one will be standing around,” he said. “We’ll also have 12 new half-racks, which are loaded with pretty much everything you can think of. Pull-up bars, dip bars, attachments to do auxiliary lifts, bands and chains we’ll all be a part of that. It’s going to be pretty sweet.”

Madsen said that when considering different options for new equipment is was important to go with something that would last many years.

“We went for the most bang for our buck, but we also went for what will last a long time” Madsen said. “This equipment will be here long after I am here.”

Belding Superintendent Leslie Mount said the primary reason for approving spending on new equipment was to make sure students would have new and safe equipment for many years into the future.

“I couldn’t even tell you the age of the old equipment,” she said. “Is it functioning right now? Yes. Will it function forever? No.  While we have the funds, it was important to replace the equipment for our new weight room, as some of it may no longer be safe in a few years.”

According to Mount, $59,473 was spent on “big items” such as squat racks, benches, lat pull towers and plyo boxes through the company, Power-Lift.

Another $20,164.18 was spent on “extra items” through the company, Bill Jacobs, which include bumper weights, bars, kettle bells, medicine balls, dumbbells and other items used in each squat rack.

Zuver said the new equipment will be “state-of-the-art” and offer Belding students something they haven’t had before.

“A lot of our equipment has been here since the early ’90s, at least,” Zuver said. “This new weight room and equipment will be a nice step up. It’s going to be first class all the way.”

Andy Clementz, a freshman at Belding High School, performs an arm curl exercise with weights during a strength and conditioning class Tuesday afternoon. — Daily News/Cory Smith

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