Published March 4, 2020

LYNNFIELD HIGH SCHOOL students, from left, Jack Ford, DJ Capachietti, Lily Rothwell and Carolyn Garofoli have enjoyed working out in the renovated Fitness Center as well as the renovated “dirt room.” (Dan Tomasello Photo)


LYNNFIELD — The renovated Lynnfield High School Fitness Center received rave reviews during a grand opening ceremony on Feb. 28.

The 2019 October Town Meeting voted to appropriate $100,000 from Free Cash in order to renovate and purchase new equipment for the Fitness Center. The center officially opened earlier this winter and has been a big hit with students.

Junior Jack Ford, who is a member of the football team, said athletic teams and other students have been using the renovated Fitness Center on a regular basis.

“It’s awesome because we have 50 kids coming in and out of here,” said Ford. “It is helping the football team prepare for next season. We couldn’t even use the Fitness Center’s second floor before, and now that it has been expanded, we can fit a lot of kids in here. The other sports teams are also using the equipment. It’s open to everybody and it helps everyone in the school.”

Field hockey senior captain Carolyn Garofoli concurred with Ford’s sentiment.

“It’s a healthier and better environment now,” said Garolofi. “I know girls who are using the Fitness Center for field hockey workouts and track workouts.”

After Town Meeting approved the LHS Fitness Center project, DPW Director John Tomasz and his department immediately began working on it. He said 14 pieces of new cardio equipment as well as new weight lifting equipment was purchased as part of the project. He said a new Pioneer logo was painted on a wall in the center as well.

“We sanded down walls and painted everything,” said Tomasz. “We did everything from soup to nuts.”

Tomasz said the project was expanded to include part of the high school’s old storage area, which is nicknamed “the dirt room.”

“We moved some of the heavy equipment down there,” said Tomasz.

High School Principal Bob Cleary noted the baseball team’s batting cages and pitching area are still located in the dirt room.

LOCAL OFFICIALS held a grand opening ceremony for the renovated Lynnfield High School Fitness Center on Feb. 28. Front row, from left, Selectman Chris Barrett, SC Vice Chairman Rich Sjoberg, LHS senior Lily Rothwell and LHS junior DJ Capachietti. Second row, from left, LHS Principal Bob Cleary, junior Jack Ford and senior Carolyn Garofoli. Third row, from left, Superintendent Jane Tremblay, Recreation Director Julie Mallett and Selectmen Chairman Phil Crawford. Back row, from left, SC Chairman Jamie Hayman, Town Administrator Rob Dolan, LHS Assistant Principal Brian Bates, SC member Stacy Dahlstedt, DPW Director John Tomasz and School Finance Director Tom Geary. (Dan Tomasello Photo)

Cleary thanked the Board of Selectmen, School Committee, DPW, local officials and Town Meeting for supporting the LHS Fitness Center renovation project.

“We can’t thank you enough,” said Cleary. “The space was last renovated 18 years ago during the school building project. It has really come back to life, which has been awesome to watch. The Fitness Center has been full of kids every afternoon, and it’s not just the athletic teams. It’s everybody. Kids are looking to live a healthy lifestyle and are trying to take it advantage of it. We have had a couple of staff members using it as well.”

Field hockey senior captain Lily Rothwell agreed.

“It’s a great environment for the students here,” said Rothwell.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Phil Crawford recalled that the project began last year after A Healthy Lynnfield discussed how physical fitness can benefit students’ social-emotional well-being.

“This is fantastic,” said Crawford. “The day we came in to take a look at this, there wasn’t one piece of usable equipment. This is exactly what we wanted to do for the town.”

Cleary noted the old fitness facility “was well used for sure, but it got tired and worn out over time.”

“There were not a lot of machines working and we tried to piecemeal things whenever we could,” said Cleary.

Junior DJ Capachietti, who is a member of the football team, said the Fitness Center is “a lot cleaner now.”

“When you used to come in here, your hands would be covered in dirt and rust,” said Capachietti. “When you leave now, you are just covered in sweat.”

Tomasz said, “It has been great seeing the students and teachers using the Fitness Center.”

Crawford thanked LHS Assistant Principal Brian Bates for being “instrumental” with identifying what the project needed. He also thanked Tomasz for coordinating the project and Town Meeting for approving it.

“After Town Meeting approved this project, we got this going the very next day,” said Crawford. “This is a tremendous upgrade and is a fantastic facility.”

Superintendent Jane Tremblay said the renovated LHS Fitness Center is “a wonderful facility.”

“We are so happy to have it in the shape that it is now for our students and faculty,” said Tremblay. “The project really expanded the space that they get to use to stay in shape and stay healthy. It was a great project and we are grateful that the town supported it.”

School Committee Chairman Jamie Hayman concurred with Tremblay’s point of view.

“I am very appreciative of the town for supporting this project and continuing to invest in the well-being of the Lynnfield Public Schools community,” said Hayman. “I am also appreciative that when the town has money for one-time capital projects, they think of the schools.”

Selectman Chris Barrett said the LHS Fitness Center looked “fantastic” after being renovated. He said school officials should be commended for supporting the project.

“This was another great opportunity for me to see firsthand the great work being accomplished at Lynnfield High School,” said Barrett. “While town leaders once again came together to celebrate another community success delivering the best opportunities for our students, I know none of this would be possible without the School Committee and Lynnfield Public Schools laying the strong groundwork for our continued success. Jane Tremblay should be commended for the great work she has done to always work with us to make sure all students have everything they need to succeed in and out of the classroom.”