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New and improved

Kingswood renovations include plenty of facilities for athletes

by Joshua Spaulding
Sports Editor - Granite State News, Carroll County Independent, Meredith News, Gilford Steamer, Winnisquam Echo, Plymouth Record-Enterprise and Baysider

THE NEW Kingswood weight room is ready to accept the new equipment, expected to arrive before the Fourth of July. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
July 02, 2012
WOLFEBORO — The new fields and gymnasium at the renovated Kingswood complex have been quite visible to the general public.

Basketball games and practices have graced the new gyms, the turf of Alumni Field has been used for lacrosse, field hockey, soccer and football, as well as the recent graduation ceremony. The baseball and softball fields saw their first games this year as well.

However, as the renovation winds down, there are a few more spots in the high school that are being finished up, places that will benefit the students moving forward.

Included in those new spaces is the weight room at the high school. The space is located near the gym and the kitchen and was ready for occupancy just prior to the Fourth of July holiday.

While the space is ready, as of Wednesday, June 27, the equipment had not yet arrived. It was slated for installation later in the week, but Athletic Director Andrea Ogden was excited about the possibilities the new equipment and space provide.

"The old area behind the gym, it was a joke," Ogden said of the school's former weight room.

The school worked with Precision, a company out of Concord, in developing a plan for the new weight room. It was determined as to which equipment would be included and how the room would be laid out.

Precision is expected to install all the equipment and make sure everything is good to go.

"We spoke early on, we gave them the dimensions and they came back with a drawing with recommendations for our needs and how it is placed," Ogden said.

Precision also helped outfit weight rooms at Plymouth Regional High School and Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook.

Additionally, the company will come and service the machines whenever there is a problem.

The school district received a $100,000 grant through the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) to help buy the equipment and Ogden is impressed with what the school was able to purchase.

"The seats can be moved way back or completely removed to allow access for wheelchairs," Ogden said. "Everything will be handicapped accessible."

Additionally, the equipment features some new technology that will help the school's students refine their workouts and exercise routines.

"The treadmills and ellipiticals have spots for zip drives," Ogden said, noting that the drives can record a user's baseline and then help them track progress over the course of a certain period of time.

"It's pretty high tech," she said.

The school did keep many of its plates and dumbbells from the weight lifting equipment in the old weight room, as they are often easily interchangeable with the new equipment.

"You can never have too many of those things," Ogden said.

The room will obviously be used by athletes from the school's sports teams, but is also open for physical education classes and Ogden said there might be a plan to allow early-morning usage in the future.

"In the long term, we might be looking for someone to monitor it in the early mornings for students and faculty," Ogden said.

"This was long overdue," she said looking at the new room.

Located right above the weight room is another spot for students to get some exercise, but traditionally a different kind of exercise.

The dance studio features wood floors and skylights to let in natural light. Ogden notes that it can be used for adaptive physical education if need be, as well as Yoga and stretching and even aerobics for physical education classes.

"There's a lot of kids who like to do dance," she said, noting that the studio gives the kids a place to go where they won't be distracted by other students who are practicing sports in the gym and it allows the physical education department to expand its offerings as well.

Ogden also noted that the school's cheerleading squad is transitioning to more of a dance team and the studio would give the squad a dedicated place to practice on a regular basis.

Next door to the dance studio is the school's new lecture hall, which would rival any college's lecture hall. The room is the top part of the old auditorium, but has been significantly upgraded to include swiveling chairs attached to long desktops. While the space isn't necessarily sports-related, Ogden said it could easily be used for regional meetings for officials or athletic directors, which she said will likely happen sometime in the future.

"It's better than some college facilities," she said.

The new school has also afforded the athletic and physical education departments a little more space for storage, something that was severely lacking in the old facility. The Alumni Field grandstands have storage underneath for the outdoor teams and Ogden has a new space between her office and the new practice gym to store uniforms in the proper manner.

Additionally, the old weight room, located off the gym, has been turned into an effective storage space for physical education equipment and equipment for the indoor sports, such as volleyball and basketball.

The school also will be refinishing the gym floor, something that will happen every year to help it avoid unnecessary wear.

All told, when Kingswood students stroll back through the doors of their school in the fall, they are bound to find even more opportunities to help them succeed.

(Look for photos of the new weight room equipment, once it arrives, in upcoming editions)

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at sportsgsn@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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