Morenci school board discusses weight room policy 02.09.2011

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Morenci’s board of education is working toward a change in the usage policy of the weight room, and some residents are hoping the public is still part of the new policy.

Community member Brad Pike told the board he’s aware of a proposed policy change that would no longer allow community use of the facility. He thinks the existing policy is a good one, but it needs to be enforced.

Board president Scott Merillat said the current policy isn’t working and the board instructed athletic director Taz Wallace to come up with a new set of rules. Wallace came up with a proposal and has since made revisions, Merillat said, but he was unable to attend the meeting to present it.

Merillat said there are individuals using the room who don’t have keys. Board member Phil McCaskey added that there are people under 21 years of age who are using it and that some people are working out alone, which is against the policy.

Pike said he understands the concern about liability issues, but he doesn’t want responsible users to be punished. He’s donated equipment to the facility and cleaned it up over the years that he’s used it.

Pike said it was his understanding that the facility was designated for public use when it was built and he doesn’t think it’s right to cut off use of the weight room after a student graduates. For example, he said, McCaskey’s daughter is a college athlete who follows a workout routine when she’s home. Will she no longer be allowed to use the weight room?

“For a small school like this, that’s a great facility,” Pike said.

He thinks it’s a good perk for the community, and if it were no longer available, people would be left with the option of traveling to a gym in Adrian.

Merillat said he thinks Wallace’s revisions will address some of Pike’s concerns. He said the facility is first and foremost for the students, and Pike said he agrees.

Teacher and coach Dan Hoffman said he’s spent more time in the weight room with students than anyone in recent years and he would be glad to discuss proposed changes.

Superintendent of schools Michael Osborne urged Pike to look at the revisions before the next board meeting to see of there are lingering concerns. Merillat expects the board to vote on a new policy at the March 8 meeting.

PRINCIPALS—Osborne read a tribute to principals in anticipation of Principals Week.

LEGISLATORS—Osborne urges residents to contact the new legislators in Lansing to make them aware of the importance their decisions have on local schools.

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