New facility is result of hard work

Published 9:14 pm Friday, June 4, 2010

WINDSOR – Championship student-athletes deserve championship equipment.

That philosophy is the one being adopted by Bertie County Schools as they prepare a weight room that will be used by athletic teams and physical education classes.

The process of designing a new weight-training facility began almost two years ago, according to Bertie County Schools Superintendent Dr. Chip Zullinger

“When we moved the ninth and tenth grades to the Bertie Preparatory site, we started thinking about the fact the 600 Building at Bertie High School could be used for a singular purpose.”

Dr. Zullinger said there had been two weight rooms since he arrived in the school district, but neither were properly equipped.

“The weight rooms were inadequate and the equipment way out-dated from what our kids should have access to,” Dr. Zullinger said.

The superintendent said he decided to move on the weight room after discussions began with the Bertie County Commissioners about building a new high school.

“When those discussions matured, it became apparent that we will continue to use the athletic facilities we have,” Dr. Zullinger said. “When that reality soaked in, we knew it was time to make some upgrades.”

From there, Dr. Zullinger asked Bertie High School Baseball Coach Randy Whitaker and Project H Architect Matt Miller to being working on the project and the two have been involved since.

Whitaker said he, Bertie High School Athletic Director Marvin Rankins and then Head Football Coach Tony Hoggard met about upgrading the weight room approximately 18 months ago.

When the process began in earnest, Bertie began working with J.C. Sports, an affiliate of Wilder Fitness, to bring in the equipment that will be used.

“We looked at several options along the way,” Whitaker said. “At first, we considered refurbishing the equipment we have and buying some used equipment, but quickly moved on to getting new equipment.”

Whitaker said he met with new Head Football coach Greg Watford and other coaches to discuss their team needs before following through with the process.

In the end, the school district ended up with 10 varsity full rack stations, two Glute Ham Developers, a 4-way neck machine two leg extension, leg curl combo machines, 10, 1500-pound Test Olympic Power Bars, five Olympic hex bars, two sets of Hex Dumbbells, 10 sets of Olympic weight plates, 20 Heavy Lifting bands and seven training hurdles in addition to several other upgrades in equipment.

“This will increase the physical strength of all of our programs,” Dr. Zullinger said. “It’s not designed just for football. The physical education aspect is the key part and, of course, we want to provide better weight-training for our athletic programs as well.”

The redesign of the 600 Building, which includes the removal of walls and the opening of the floor plan, is being paid for by the money that remains in the capital project budget for 2009-2010.

Dr. Zullinger said any time money is spent for capital improvements, it should be to improve what is being offered to students.

“Everything we do with capital dollars ought to not just keep us where we are, but help us provide better facilities for our kids,” he said. “The weight room we are putting in place will be one of the best because our students deserve the best.

“When you walk in, it’s going to blow you away,” he added. “It is a new day in Bertie County.”