Press release from Red Bank Regional High School
This school year saw the debut of a spacious new 2,700 sq. ft. fitness center at Red Bank Regional High School, a much desired addition that came to fruition through a a financial commitment by the Board of Education to fund the construction, and from community donations to furnish the space. The BUC Backer Foundation and BUC Backer Booster Club fundraised over $75,000 to provide state-of-the art equipment, and the addition cost of $1,070,000 was funded under the district’s capital improvement fund.
The new facility allows for 60 to 70 students to work out comfortably; since its opening this past fall, its utilization has seen about that number on any given afternoon. During the day, physical education classes visit the facility to instruct students how to use the equipment. Lesson plans are being written to incorporate use of the facility into next year’s curriculum.
“As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child…it definitely took our community to build this facility,” commented Del Dal Pra. The RBR Athletic Director is hoping to attract additional donations to augment the existing stations and weight equipment so it can accommodate a 100 person capacity.
Del Pra expressed gratitude that, in addition to building this facility, the RBR Board has committed funds to hire a strength and conditioning coach to staff the facility after school each day next year from 2:45 to 5:30 pm.
Some students have already reaped the benefits of this conditioning, as girls’ assistant basketball coach Jack Provine, a certified strength and conditioning coach, has been working with the team prior and during their basketball season. One of his athletes, junior Mary Vilardi, was injured during a game and tore her posterior cruciate ligament (PLC) which necessitated a two-month recovery.
“The doctor was shocked at how strong my knee was from all our strength training,” Mary recalled, adding that the training regimen “most likely prevented a much worse anterior cruciate ligament (ASL) injury, which is a much longer recovery.”
The question was posed if it was a coincidence that the RBR football team had its best season in decades as the facility opened midway in the football season. Prior to that, the football players were training in what was a very cramped and inadequate space less than half the size of the new facility.
“It was just too small,” said junior and defensive end Jack Haytaian in reference to the former facility. “It makes it a lot harder to lift…now this one has a lot more space with better and newer equipment.”
“In the short time it has been open, our new fitness center has been getting used by male/female athletes from all sports, plus non-athletes from all of our many great communities who are looking to work out after school,” added RBR’s head football coach Nick Giglio. “This tremendous facility will benefit our entire student population for many years to come.”