LIVINGSTON - In addition to flexing their mental muscles, the students at Park High School in Livingston will be literally working out with state-of-the-art equipment in a new weight room unveiled next month.
The students applied in the spring of 2016 to the Lift Life competition, which is put on by BodyBuilding.com, to win a weight room makeover.
The BodyBuilding.com competition is an ongoing contest that’s received more than 700 video submissions in the past few years. Schools in Tennessee and Indiana are previous winners of the grant.
More than a year after Park High School submitted its video entry, representatives of the organization visited the Livingston school with a big announcement.
“They told us we were one of the top four finalists and they were here to get some footage to determine the winner. Then they held an assembly and told us we were actually the winners,” Park High School Activities Director Regina Wood said.
Wood said the makeover crew is scheduled to begin renovations at the end of September.
The whole project is expected to take about 10 days.
“They’re remodeling it from top to bottom, with floors, mirrors and new equipment,” said Wood.
The grant is worth about $300,000 to $350,000, she said.
Park High School was renovated after district voters approved a $15 million bond in 2010.
But according to Wood, the weight room has gone untouched since it was added on to the school’s gym in the mid-1990s.
"Here we have this school that looks wonderful but then our weight room was an afterthought," said Wood. "When it comes down to it, asking the community for money, it's easy to over look (the weight room). It's a lower priority so we can focus on educational elements and I get that. But it's such an important part of our culture, overall health and the lifestyle we want to promote. So this is huge.”
Wood said the weight room is routinely used by just about every student in the school, from physical education courses to athletic teams.
A ribbon cutting ceremony is set for Oct. 6.
The Lift Life Foundation serves underprivileged students and underfunded high schools nationwide by completely transforming their old, dilapidated, and unsafe weight rooms into state-of-the-art facilities from floor to ceiling, according to the organization.
"Our mission is to give students access to the tools they need to improve their fitness levels, boost their self-worth and to become the best versions of themselves, both physically and mentally, through exercise," Lift Life officials wrote.