Houston Secondary School gym retrofit begins, to include weight room

It’s pretty exciting, Houston Secondary School Vice-Principal Jaksun Grice said, watching as crews work at installing the divider between the HSS gymnasium and the area that will soon be their new weight room.

It’s pretty exciting, Houston Secondary School Vice-Principal Jaksun Grice said, watching as crews work at installing the divider between the HSS gymnasium and the area that will soon be their new weight room.

“It’s pretty good, for a small school it’s going to be a really nice facility for our kids,” Grice said.

It’s been a goal of his to see a fitness facility built at HSS since he started last year, Grice said, who wrote the application for the School Community Connection grant. Worth $10,500, the grant received provided the funds for a wall to separate the gym from the new fitness room on the stage.

With its own entrance, the room will be accessible to students from outside the gym, Grice said, so those who wish to use the room who are not part of the gym class can do so without interruption of the other students.

The wall is, in fact, only a partial wall, with the top portion to be covered in netting so wayward gym equipment doesn’t impact those using the weight room. Plexiglass windows is also being considered for later installation so that teachers can monitor both rooms at one time, if necessary.

The wall is one that makes it possible for the stage to be used for other purposes, when necessary.

“We’re installing a wall that can easily be taken down in a few hours,” Grice said.

There will be a designated line as to where all the equipment will have to be pushed past for the bleachers to be set up for the annual graduation ceremony, really the only time they will see a conflict with their stage being used in this manner, Grice said.

Currently students have to take their own money to utilize the rec centre downtown, Grice said, to fulfill their physical education curriculum. By having this facility, a first for HSS, it will make it much easier for them to fulfill their graduation requirements.

“This will be right in the gym, so we can access it at any time,” Grice said. “It’ll also let us expand our course offerings by being able to do entry-level fitness trainer courses, and it will also help out with our athletics program where our kids can build strength and fitness after practice.”

They hope to see the room up and running by the end of the month, Grice said. In addition to the weight lifting equipment, there’s room enough for a stretching/warm up area. The majority of the equipment will be brand new, however HSS is looking forward to some donations of the more high-end equipment pieces, such as a treadmill, Grice said.

“It’ll be just as good as going down to the rec centre for the kids,” Grice said.

And the fitness room is one the kids have shown a demand for before now, he added, who in the past have requested the equipment from management. Now, they’ll have what they want, which is pretty exciting.

Other grants received by schools within SD54 include a gym modification at Smithers Secondary school and a new adjustable backboard and hoop system for Walnut Park, worth $7,000 and $10,000 respectively.