fitness equipment

Community members can now access a new fitness center at Lisbon Central School District, thanks to the persistence of the district’s Wellness Committee.

“The district recognizes that movement and fitness contribute to the overall health of our students,” said Superintendent of Schools Patrick J. Farrand. “The Wellness Committee’s vision to create a fitness center that would benefit the entire Lisbon community truly helped bring this project to life.”

The student fitness center was previously located in a small room off the gym, with limited equipment. Athletic Director Erika Backus said the Wellness Committee has long advocated for equipment and space upgrades. However, space and community access was top on the priority list, which required patience over the past several years.

The idea for a fitness center renovation came to the forefront again as a result of federal aid from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ARP ESSER). Districts can use ARP ESSER funds for non-recurring expenses that address academic, social, emotional and mental health needs of students resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The fitness center meets academic needs as a space for students to learn about health and wellness,” said Backus. 

With numerous studies linking physical activity to positive mental health, the center addresses those needs as well.

“It helps, especially after Covid, for kids to find a positive outlet that also improves their fitness levels,” said Backus. 

Backus said the district’s 2020 capital project resulted in a reconfiguration of classrooms that created a new music suite and the space that houses the new fitness center. Once the district finalized the design of the space with the SEI Design Group, and the funding source was secured, Backus reached out to Advantage Fitness of Ithaca to design the center.

“We gave them a wish list, and they designed it from there,” she said. The new fitness center features three treadmills, an elliptical machine, an arc trainer, two rowing machines and three Encore stationary bikes, in addition to free weights.

Advantage Fitness introduced Lisbon staff members to the equipment and trained a core group of students so they can be on hand to provide support to visitors during center community hours.

With the new equipment, physical education teachers can offer conditioning classes to students during the day, and athletes and coaches can use the space during after-school hours for strength training and conditioning sessions. 

“It’s great to see students getting involved in improving their fitness levels,” said Backus. “It’s fun to watch kids achieve goals in the fitness room, whether it’s being able to lift 10 pounds or 100 pounds.”

Backus said students and athletes use the center on a regular basis, and families are beginning to use the space as well.

“Sometimes a whole family comes in, or parents work out during their child’s practice,” she said. “The excitement for the room is increasing tremendously.”

Farrand said he expects more residents will use the center as word gets out.

“We are excited that the center will enhance learning for students and also provide a place for community members to work toward their personal fitness goals,” said Farrand.

Residents can obtain a fitness center pass for $10 and can use the center during community access hours, which are currently 5-8 p.m. on weekdays and 8-11 a.m. on weekends during the school year.

To obtain a resident fitness center pass, please contact the district office at 315-393-4951.