Three Maine schools win $100K fitness centers

Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 6:13 PM EDT
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DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine (WABI) - Three Maine schools have won $100,000 fitness centers as part of the national “Don’t Quit” campaign.

Fitness icon Jake Steinfield and Gov. Janet Mills announced the winners in recognition of their commitment to student health.

”Congratulations, you’re getting $100,000 fitness…and we were just so excited,” said SeDoMoCha Principal Adam Gudroe.

Gudroe says students and staff are actually beyond excited.

“There’s going to be at least 30 different fitness stations packed into this fitness center,” Gudroe said.

The center will replace expanded classroom space that was needed for social distancing.

Jenn Savage, SeDoMoCha PE teacher for grades 4-8, says staff and students alike will benefit.

“I’m definitely looking forward to utilizing this opportunity, this equipment, in our regular PE program also potentially offering some extra curricular activities,” Savage said.

Gorham Middle School and Deer Isle Stonington Elementary School also entered and won fitness centers.

”We got busy. We had just the month of February and it was due mid March,” said Principal Tara McKechnie, Deer Isle Stonington Elementary.

”The students are so excited about the possibility of having something state of the art that’s theirs, that they can own,” said John Lincoln, DISES director of REACH Performing Arts Center.

”It’s an incredible feeling and it’ll be good for our whole morale in our school and the community itself,” said Dana McGraw, DISES physical education.

”These kids would thrive if we could turn this storage room into a fitness center,” Lincoln said in the submission video.

”A representative from Fitness In Motion is going to come and design what the room is going to look like based on our size,” said Kelsey Winslow, DISES occupational therapist.

All the equipment is manufactured in the US, and funding for the Don’t Quit Campaign comes from partnerships with private companies, not taxpayer dollars.

“Some of the high school students were a little jealous and asking about access and are they going to be able to get into the room too and how much we’re going to share it,” Lincoln said.

”We are definitely going to share it. This is not just a prize for the elementary school, it’s a prize for the whole community,” McKechnie said.

The fitness centers will be unveiled at ribbon cutting ceremonies this fall.

“Just having that resource is going to be amazing for the community,” Gudroe said.

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