By James Benedict
Coming from Eastern High School in Louisville, KY, junior Malcolm Brown is a recent transfer to Carmel. As a member of the football team, he said he has been introduced to many new traditions at Carmel, one of which is Carmel’s weight program. Brown said while the weight program here has helped him a lot since entering advanced physical conditioning, he said he does notice that the weight room itself is small for his class size. That will soon change. According to Athletics Director Jim Inskeep, the current weight room will be expanded to a full-scale athletic center for the use of all Carmel students.
Inskeep said, “(It will be) a new weight room and an expanded area of education, so it would be two additional basketball courts, which are basically teaching stations for physical education, which will be on the second floor. On the ground will be a new facility for weights.”
The new athletic center will be an expansion of the current weight room and it will be built on the field house parking lot. Construction is scheduled to begin sometime in 2012 and is estimated to take somewhere between 14 to 16 months to complete.
According to Carmel Clay School District’s website, the district has budgeted two $3 million payments for the facility, one in 2010 and another in 2011. However that amount could change over the next two years.
The entire athletic center will use money from the Capital Project Fund, which is funded by the state. The school district can spend the money on anything it chooses, but according to Inskeep if it does not spend all the money granted, it will lose the rest.
“In a normal year, a variety of smaller projects take place in the district. It might be re-roofing or new technology in a certain building,” Inskeep said. Over the next two years, however the majority of the money will be spent on the new fitness facility. The Capital Projects Fund is already built into the state’s budget; there will be no tax increase to pay for the new facility.
“With it, it’s basically cash for the fitness facility. If you had to create bonds, it is almost like putting in on a credit card, you’re going to have to pay more for it at some point and it’s charged for interest, instead of paying for it with cash. You’re not paying on years and years and years after this,” Inskeep said.
Aaron Bosket, strength and conditioning coach, said the new athletics center would greatly help student athletes because it will let them to do a more diverse workout.
“Right now we mainly do weight training,” Bosket said. “With the new athletic center we will be able to do more core workouts, cardio and flexibility.”
Brown, Bosket and Inskeep said they believe the current weight room is too small for the number of student athletes using it. Bosket said that every year he has taught at Carmel the number of students using the weight room has expanded, while the size of the facility has stayed the same. Inskeep said that the current weight room does not meet the requirements for a school the size of Carmel.
“(The weight room is) pretty limited,” Inskeep said. “It’s the size of 1A (division) schools and it doesn’t ventilate well. It’s got low ceilings, its got four columns in the middle for support… It’s not fitting the needs of physical education or athletics. We do need more space.”
The new facility will be available to all Carmel students. It is being built for both physical education classes and athletics, according to Inskeep. Bosket said physical education teachers have been asking to use the weight room for a lifting section in P.E., but there is currently not enough room. Bosket also said that an expanded weight room would allow multiple classes to be taught at the same time. Currently two classes combine for lifting, but with the new facility, many independent classes could be conducted at the same time.
Brown said he sees why there is a need to expand and hopes to have even greater improvement with the new facility.
“The overall weight program is pretty great, it’s helping me so much and I can see the improvements. It may need to be expanded to a bigger size seeing as our classes are larger,” Brown said. “I feel that it would be a pretty great idea.”