Weighting no more: New facility is up and running

Football coach notes positive changes for classes, teams


Will Browning

During G period on Jan. 15, students enrolled in the physical education class were at lunch, but new equipment awaited their return.

Madi Tran, Co-Editor-in-Chief

During Christmas break, while all students were away from school, renovations were made to improve the weight room.

Head Football Coach and admissions liaison Mr. Bill Peebles, said, “We replaced the floor, actually adding new flooring to it, which is going to help absorb energy from the dropping of the bars much more effectively. It has better viscosity, it’s a lot less slick than the old floor, especially when it gets wet. We have eight brand new Hammer Strength racks that are connected. They are top of the line half racks and we got some new weights on top of that.”

Senior Abby Thomas, who takes advanced weightlifting, said, “There’s been new flooring that’s been put in and it’s a material you can clean on so it makes it more practical. They put in different racks that are more versatile. You could bench at every station. You could squat at every station.”

The renovations started even before Christmas break in order to accommodate the numerous changes being made. Peebles said that the scheduled improvements of the weight room went according to plan and everything was done on time. “The renovations took about three weeks, and that included the week of finals and the two weeks during break,” Peebles said.

In order to make the weight room more efficient, many original aspects of the weight room were replaced. “We got rid of the old platforms and a bunch of the old equipment, some of which was old enough for me to remember when I played and they were here. It was a total upgrade, we have much more space. It is much more functional and safe. It’s going to allow us to teach at a much more effective level. What we were trying to do in the old weight room was teach pre-cal with an algebra book,” Peebles said.

The renovations of the weight room were paid for through a fundraiser held by the football team, along with backers. 

Peebles said, “We did a fundraiser in August. We used the football fundraiser, which was a Bingo. Each year we have a fund a need project for something that is important to the football program and the weight room was the thing that was most important to the football program this year. We had a lot of generous donors really step up because the price tag wasn’t a normal ask for what we’d usually do for football. It was a lot more than a normal yearly ask, but some people really stepped up to help.”

So far, the advanced physical education classes have used the renovated weight room the most and Peebles has seen a difference the class now versus before. He said, “What I’ve noticed is not so much how the students are using (the weight room), but how Coach (Cody) Johnson is able to instruct at a much more efficient level. There’s a lot less downtime in having to change spots and change weights. It’s much more efficient. It’s a little more rigorous. Between those two we expect greater results from the work the students are doing in there.”

After the renovations, Thomas saw a change in how the weight room was utilized. 

Thomas said, “It’s made the class a lot smaller, because less people in general can fit in each class, but it has also made it much more efficient because the only weights you have to move are your own, so when you’re transitioning through different movements all you have to do is move your weights around. You don’t have to move across the room and clean up other people’s weights and its just more efficient.”

Peebles hopes the weight room will help improve students as well.

“Hopefully in the big scheme of things, the results that they get out of that weight room are going to be greater. They’re going to be a little bigger, a little faster, a little stronger after getting in there over time. In the short term they’ve had to work a little harder, which some of them like and some of them don’t,” Peebles said. 

In the future, Peebles sees the weight room as a part of how the school can fulfill its mission. 

“Every student that takes the class or is in a program that uses the weight room to enhance themselves. Cathedral wants us to prepare all of our students academically, spiritually and socially. This renovation gives us the opportunity to do a better job at preparing them physically for whatever endeavor they want to move forward in,” Peebles said.

Though the renovations are a great for those who utilize the weight room, there is more room to improve it.

Thomas said, “We were supposed to have mirrors in the original plan, but those renovations weren’t made. It would be really helpful to be able to see your form to see what you’re doing right or wrong instead of having to feel what you’re doing or having someone else correct you. It’d just be helpful in getting better.”

Peebles said, “For that weight room we’re probably about maxed out. If they ever build the STEM building there’s been talk of moving the weight room to where the cafeteria is now, but thats down the road a bit. That would be the next phase.”

Thomas sees the renovated weight room as a plus because so many students utilize the space. 

“Around 70 percent of students have done a sport at some point at Cathedral, so (the weight room) benefits 70 percent of students that are involved in a sport. It helps with training, strength and condition,” Thomas said. 

Overall Peebles is more than happy with the renovations. 

He said, “(The renovations turned out) better than I could’ve imagined. I think it looks great visually. It’s much nicer and obviously the functionality is a game changer for the way we teach in the classroom.”