New School Fitness Center Opens for Students, Faculty, and Parents

 “I get choked up.”

That’s how Dr. Ron Woodard, principal of Maplewood High School, responds when asked to describe the impact of the school’s new fitness center for students, faculty and parents. The new center’s grand opening was April 29, 2013. Mayor Dean and Journey Johnson, CEO of the YMCA, attended the opening along with several other community and business leaders. 

“There has been an unaddressed need for wellness in our community for a long time,” says Woodard. “This is doing something about that.” 

Nearly half of Maplewood High School’s 1000 students are economically disadvantaged. The school is located in Northeast Nashville.Dr. Woodard addressed the fact that the 37216 zip code has the highest number of cases of diabetes in Nashville. 

The new center was made possible through renovations and equipment donated by Dane Burks & Co. Fitness. 

“What we did was help them create a wellness center for more than just student-athletes,” says company president Dane Burks. “This space will be for everyone.”

Adds Woodard: “This is an amazing opportunity for our students, faculty, and parents. The center will be used by all three groups.”

The new center offers aerobic machines like treadmills, elliptical trainers, and indoor cycles as well as strength and conditioning equipment and olympic free weights.

“I get choked up when I think about what this means to our school,” says Dr. Woodard. “We are very grateful.”

This is the second school wellness project that Dane Burks & Co. Fitness has completed since 2012. “Our goal would be to complete one school wellness center each year, but that will take additional support from the community” says Burks. Last year, the company completed the a similar project for Martin Luther King Magnet School. Dr. Tina Bozeman, PE and Wellness Teacher at MLK Magnet School, says the new center and equipment will instill being physically fit in her students so they carry the desire into adulthood. “I want to provide my students with knowledge and skills to be fit for a lifetime.”