When the Charter Oak-Ute High School joined with Maple Valley-Anthon Oto for whole grade sharing of high school classes, the weight room at the Charter Oak school building no longer had much use.
The school still used the weight room for junior high physical education, but the equipment sat unused for much of the time, according to Shari Clausen of the Charter Oak-Ute Athletic Boosters.
The boosters group, along with the school, had supported the weight room in the past and wanted to find a new use for the equipment, she said.
The school wanted to turn the weight room into a learning center, so a plan was developed to convert the former shop room, which was no longer in use.
“We decided to move the weight room into there,” Clausen said. “The booster club still had money and decided to take that money and make the shop area into the fitness center for the community to use.”
The booster club put on a fundraiser and received a grant from the Crawford County Community Foundation for the project.
The booster club and the school worked together on remodeling the facility.
“The shop area needed to be completely redone,” Clausen said. “It was in bad shape so we did a lot of work in there.”
The electrical system was completely replaced, as was the drywall. The ceiling was replaced and new mats were added for the floor.
The boosters group didn’t have enough money to replace the heating system, but United Bank of Iowa stepped up.
“United Bank of Iowa gave us quite a large donation,” Clausen said. “We were able to get heating and air conditioning. Now it can be used year-round, as well.”
The remodeling project started about a year ago.
Booster club members did much of the work, but a contractor was hired for the electrical and heating/AC work.
The project was completed this spring and the new fitness center opened at the beginning of June.
Anyone may use the facility, which is available at any hour, Clausen said.
Users must pay a $100 fee for use of a key fob and $25 per year for a family membership.
Memberships may be purchased at the Charter Oak-Ute school office.
“Having a healthy community is important and we’d love people to come up and check it out and use it,” she said. “That’s what it’s there for.”