Things have gotten heavier on the Barbers Hill campus and in a very good way.
In mid-December, the school completed a three-month project to expand the athletic program’s weight room and bring in new free weight equipment.
“We added to an existing weight room so we doubled our lifting space,” Barbers Hill head football coach Tom Westerberg said. “The old facility hadn’t been touched for about 20 years. It took about three months to get this done.
“We used Purcell Construction who built it and it’s all brand new on the inside. We used ProMAXima for the equipment. We also have some treadmills in there that were donated.”
The old equipment now resides at Barbers Hill North Middle School.
“Some of that equipment is still pretty nice,” Westerberg said.
Westerberg said this was a culmination of a plan to get more kids working at once.
“It’s been a deal to where we wanted to get all of our kids in there at one time and we weren’t able to do that,” Westerberg said. “We have 45 double-sided racks so now we have 90 lifting stations. We have plenty of space for everybody.”
So far, returns are positive.
“Before the addition, we struggled to fit more than three sports due to the limited equipment and space we had.,” senior softball player Jessica Mullins said. “Now, we are capable of fitting at least five sports. A greater number of student-athletes have been taking advantage of the new space by working out before and after school.
“I also believe that the size will provide availability for future growth of our athletic program. With the amount of growth in our area, we will immensely benefit from this new weight room.”
The extra availability will provide more athletes with the ability to get in the work when they head over to get in a workout.
“Coach just told us the other day about how us being persistent in the weight room allowed us to be stronger during volleyball season and keep our bodies healthy,” sophomore player Kelsi Wingo said. “Now with the new weight room, we can take that to even new levels this offseason.”
Some athletes are remiss that they won’t be able to enjoy the weight room as much since their athletic careers at the school are coming to an end.
“I am kind of bummed out that the senior football class of 2020 didn’t get to use it,” outgoing senior linebacker Cavin Branin said. “But the new weight room is pretty amazing. It added a whole lot of extra room for new equipment that the underclass kids get to use. It also got a lot of kids interest around the school that don’t play sports going to workout after school.
“Hopefully with this new facility will be good enough for the boys to take the team even farther this next year.”
New head women’s basketball coach Bryan Harris will definitely enjoy the fringe benefit of the weight room as he builds his program.
“It is top of the line for any program,” Harris said. “I would put the new transition of the weight room up against most colleges. The new weight room will impact all teams especially with access and top of the line equipment. There are so many versatile things you can do with the new weight room and each coach can cater to their sport-specific regiment.”