Wellsville BOE accepts donation from foundation

WELLSVILLE — Village schools will be receiving some additional exercise equipment following the closure of a Toronto gym.

The Wellsville school board on Monday accepted the donation from the Go Healthy Foundation of 14 pieces of exercise equipment, valued at $13,205, which will be used for fitness programs that will benefit both the students and staff.

The equipment had been previously used at the Toronto YMCA, which closed.

The equipment consists of three bikes (a Life Fitness bike with HDTV and two Matrix exercise bikes); two Cybex treadmills with TV; a Life Fitness treadmill; a Life Fitness elliptical; six machine from Techno Gym (for upper backs, arm curls, arm extensions, pectorals, vertical traction and chest press) and a Cyber Eagle torso rotation machine.

Superintendent Richard Bereschik said Go Healthy purchased the equipment and offered all of it to the school, adding that had the school bought the equipment new, “it would have cost us $70,000 to $80,000.”

Bereschik said that a representative from the YMCA checked out the equipment to make sure it is operable, which Bereschik said it is, and will move the equipment to the weight room within the next month. He said that one faculty member, Maria McNicol, received some help from students of her fitness class to help design the weight room with the new equipment.

“They went online, they got all this equipment,” Bereschik said. “They looked up the legality of how far the placement had to be in between the machines, and they set up — with the other equipment moved out — a new schematic for where we’re going to place this equipment when it comes in.”

Bereschik said in order to accommodate the new equipment, the large free weights in the weight room have been temporarily stored at the former Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses next to the high school, which the district purchased this past February.

The board approved the donation, 4-0, with Tom Brophey absent.

In other matters, Bereschik updated the board on its Nicholson Stadium improvement project, which will include a new artificial turf field, an all-weather track and renovation of its adjacent practice field.

Bereschik said another step in the construction is the removal of some pine trees from the area, which he said is due to the field having to be moved.

“We’ve already had the drainage samples taken, they went along very well,” Bereschik said. “The surveying has been done at the field. We’re looking to have pine trees removed. There are some 80-foot pine trees that have to go in order for us to relocate the field.”

The project — to be funded partially through monies received through its agreement with Advanced Power for construction of the South Field Energy plant — is expected to be completed by the start of next school year.

“This has been a good year for us,” Bereschik said, “We’ve accomplished a lot of good things, and I think people have been noticing us.”

Among those good things are upgrades to security systems at all three schools, a new roof and heating/cooling system at Garfield Elementary and additional equipment in case of emergencies.

Board president Gary Althiser and board member Ed Bauer commended the board on their efforts and decisions that have been made throughout the year and expressed a positive outlook for the next year.

“I think we’re making strides that I think we’re ahead of where we all probably thought we would be,” Althiser said. “It’s easy for us on the board to have ideas, but Mr. Bereschik, (Treasurer Bob) Barrett, the buildings and grounds men, the teachers, the admin, they have to do all the hard work. I think we’re really going somewhere as a district, and it’s pretty easy to tell that when you go out to the community.”

“We seem to be pretty well in line and in place as far as a school district is concerned,” Bauer said. “I think that’s important because, like I’ve said I’ve been on here for a while, this is as good as we’ve looked.”