More restrooms, exercise room for SHS

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 11, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
Construction on an addition to the Salisbury High School gymnasium is expected to begin soon.
The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education recently approved the more than $397,000 project, 66 percent of which will be funded through grants from the Robertson Family Foundation and donations. The remaining dollars will come from the school system’s capital project fund.
“I am very proud of the community support we receive not only for athletics, but for academics as well,” Salisbury Principal Dr. Windsor Eagle said.
Eagle has rolled over about $20,000 in matching funds for capital improvement projects since 2008.
“Dr. Eagle has been working on this for years,” Gene Miller, assistant superintendent for operations, said. “It’s a project he obviously wants to get done.”
Eagle said he’s been raising money to add restroom facilities to the school’s gymnasium since the school’s softball field was completed in 2008.
He’s helped collect $75,000 through selling bricks for the field house project and received about $8,000 in donations.
Those funds will go toward this project and be siphoned back as more money is raised.
“This is just phase one of a multi-phase project,” Eagle said.
Eagle hopes to eventually expand the gym lobby, which is he says can get pretty tight with both admissions and concessions being run out of the space.
“We max out at 902 gym seats so it can be terrible as far as crowds trying to use our facilties,” he said.
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The new facility will have a 600 square-foot exercise room, which will house $52,000 worth of fitness equipment.
The equipment, including five treadmills, five ellipticals, three upright cycles, two recumbent bikes, two fluid runners and two weight benches with sets of free weights, has been purchased using funds from the federal Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) grant.
Eagle said the equipment has already been ordered, but right now there is no designated space for it.
The facility will include both male and female bathrooms. The female restroom will have six stalls, while the male bathroom will have two stalls and four urinals. Each bathroom will also include a handicap stall.
A unisex bathroom is also being built to meet the needs of parents with opposite sex children.
Right now, the men’s restroom on the main level only has a couple of stalls, which means basketball, volleyball and wrestling spectators oftentimes have to venture to the basement bathroom.
“It’s a nightmare to have people traveling up and down those stairs,” Miller said. “This project will take care of that safety issue, aesthetic issues and needed space for the PEP program.”
Eagle expects Carpenter Construction to get the project under way within a few weeks.
“We’re excited,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming.”
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The school board also approved a construction project to renovate Knox Middle School’s gym.
The project will remove all the windows and glass in the gym and replace it with decorative brick product.
Miller said the changes need to be made in order for the school to be able to utilize the HOPSports program, which was purchased using PEP grant funds.
HOPSports, a multimedia program that improves cardiovascular health and provides strength training, projects workouts onto the wall of the gym.
“You need a dark facility to see it,” Miller said.
An air conditioning system will also be installed in the gym during the construction.
The $131,880 project will be done through the district’s capital improvement fund and is expected to begin within several weeks.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.