High schools open renovated weight rooms

Published 5:05 pm Friday, May 24, 2024

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Lowndes County public high schools joined the community to officially open newly renovated weight rooms on Friday. Faculty, staff, school system administrators and students for The Calhoun School and Central High School held ribbon cutting ceremonies to celebrate the addition of a training facility the likes of which neither school’s athletes have enjoyed before.

Lowndes County Public Schools (LCPS) Athletic Director Nickles Rankins said the weight rooms and new equipment will accommodate strength training the improve the school’s athletic programs.

“Strength and conditioning are everything that make an athletic program whole,” Rankins said. “So now, this is going to give our kids a balanced playing field like other student-athletes have. Being able to perform strength and conditioning is going to do a lot for all of our programs.”

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The improvements were made possible by $150,000 in seed money from a community service grant secured by State Senator Robert Stewart (D-Selma).

Stewart said he was thankful for the ability to help communities in Alabama’s District 23 and for the vision of school system administrators who recognized the athletic program needs.

“I’m grateful for former Superintendent Jasson Burroughs as well as current Superintendent Samita Jeter for their vision and for ensuring that this project came to fruition,” Stewart said. “The [new] state-of-the-art facilities will give our scholar-athletes the competitive edge they need.”

According to Jeter, Stewart announced the funding at the school system’s Institute Day event in August 2023. The schools received the money on Oct. 1, 2023 and by that time administrators had developed a plan for improving weight rooms for the high schools’ athletic programs.

Jeter said grant funding helps the school provide much-needed equipment and facility improvements, things that are not included in regular budgets.

“Grants like this allow us to purchase things we have a lack of budgeted funds for,” Jeter said. “We use those funds to purchase things we could not normally get.”

The newly renovated weight rooms and added equipment will go a long way towards training student athletes to compete in sporting events, she added.

“The weight rooms and the equipment will allow the students to prepare their bodies for the sports and athletic events they’re going to participate in,” Jeter said.