Published October 9, 2019


LYNNFIELD — Fall Town Meeting will be asked to pump up Lynnfield High School’s dilapidated fitness center on Oct. 21.

Town Administrator Rob Dolan told the School Committee on Oct. 1 that one of Board of Selectmen Chairman Phil Crawford’s priorities this year is transforming the facility into “a vibrant fitness center for every student at Lynnfield High School.”

“We will be presenting an article at Town Meeting for $100,000 to make that happen,” said Dolan. “We feel that we have an excellent plan that will not only serve the entire student body, but we feel we can have it ready by January.”

In an interview with the Villager, Crawford said he made upgrading the fitness center a priority after A Healthy Lynnfield discussed how fitness can benefit students’ social-emotional well-being.

“We can spend $25,000 to $30,000 on infrastructure improvements and about $70,000 on new equipment,” said Crawford. “It’s a much-needed capital expenditure that will help hundreds of kids.”

LYNNFIELD HIGH SCHOOL’S fitness center is looking pretty sad these days. Fall Town Meeting will be asked to give it a much needed makeover on Oct. 21. (File Photo)

The fitness center has not been upgraded since the high school was renovated in the early 2000s. Crawford, Dolan and DPW Director John Tomasz kicked off a preliminary discussion about the renovation project during a School Committee meeting last May.

Tomasz said he has been working with LHS officials as part of the process of giving the exercise room a makeover.

“We are trying to create a complete package that not only covers the weights but also the cardio portion,” said Tomasz. “If you have been down there, the cardio stuff is beat and the room is worn. It really needs an upgrade.”

In an email sent to the Villager, Tomasz said the project entails painting walls, replacing ceiling tiles and replacing floor mats. He said some of the room’s lighting will be upgraded and new electrical outlets will be run. He also said 13 pieces of cardio equipment will be replaced along with a few pieces of weightlifting equipment.

Additionally, Tomasz said the fitness center renovation project involves purchasing a few new weightlifting items, including kettle bells. He said some smaller items such as mats, rollers, jump ropes, storage racks, lifting and exercise charts will be purchased as well. He also said local officials are looking to purchase some benches, foam yoga blocks and mirrors. He said the Pioneer logo will be painted on a wall as well.

“We are looking to do all of the work outside of school hours,” said Tomasz. “We hope to have all of it done when students get back on Jan. 2. It’s going to be in great shape.”

School Committee Chairman Jamie Hayman expressed his support for the LHS fitness center renovation project.

“The high school simply needs this,” said Hayman. “That room is not a place that is conducive to wanting to go and exercise. Our students deserve better.”

In response to a question from Hayman, Dolan said the fitness center renovation project will be funded with money located in either the Free Cash, Overlay and Sale of Real Estate accounts.

“This money can be used for one-time uses for capital projects,” said Dolan.