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Dec. 17, 2015 - Valley Central High School weight room gets a facelift

What does the NFL have in common with Valley Central High School?

Their in-house gyms have the same equipment thanks to an effort spearheaded by the Valley Central Athletic Booster Club.students pose with new weight room equipment


On Friday, Dec. 11, a group of excited students gathered upstairs from the high school’s weight room to await the official unveiling of the new equipment in the weight room. Many of the students present had worked over the past few weeks clearing out the old equipment and were anxious to see the upgrades.


“I’m hoping to see a new and improved weight room,” student Michael Hoppe said, as he waited for the door to open.  “It was getting pretty old and all the equipment was pretty used up, so I’m really looking forward to it.”


Although the school has received donated fitness machines over the years, it had not purchased its own equipment in over 40 years. Calling the upgrade “a long time coming,” Athletic Director Mike Bellarosa passed around a newspaper clipping from the last time the weight room was updated. The students in the photo are wearing short gym shorts and calf-length striped socks. The year is 1973.

When the doors were opened, the room echoed with a chorus of astonished “whoas” and “wows” as the students streamed in and saw the equipment for the first time. One student called the new equipment “a Christmas miracle.”

valley central's new weight room equipment

The upgrade included new cardiovascular and weight-training machines with the Valley Central logo crisply emblazoned on the wood floor. The booster club donated a flat screen television and sound system.


“When I walked in and saw everything, I was amazed,” student Joe Fiorillo said. “Everything was so nice and new. It’s such an improvement from what we had before.”


The new equipment is part of the Hammer Strength line from Life Fitness, which is used by NFL athletes for strength conditioning.


“It’s absolutely the most sturdy and safe equipment out there,” Arthur Speck, a consultant with G & G Fitness, a company based in Williamsville, New York, that specializes in fitness equipment and who sold the equipment to the school.


Students use the weight room to learn the basic fundamentals of strength and fitness. It is used during each of the school’s nine periods for physical education classes and is also used by the school’s athletic teams for training purposes.


“We’re really excited about the upgrade because the new equipment is going to be a tremendous benefit for the students who use this room,” Mr. Bellarosa said. 
Watch the students react as they see the upgrade for the first time: