High School Weight Room Extreme Makeover | Park High School


(cheerleaders chanting) (people cheering) – Mr. Mogan, could you hit
the lights for me, please? Thank you. Okay, this video’s gonna
explain a little bit about why we’re here and then
we’re gonna ask for a little bit of support from you. So, we have our friends from
the Lift Life foundation here. That’s who you see around filming. Last year we submitted
our entry into a contest that we could get our weight
room completely renovated. And so this video will kind of go into our submission video a little bit, and what this project is
all about, so here we go. (people cheering) – Hello, Park High School,
it’s the Lift Life Team, Dylan, McKayla, Kirk, and Jim. The Lift Life Foundation is
a non profit organization powered by BodyBuilding.com. Our mission is to travel
around the country, identify old and outdated weight rooms, and completely transform
them into state of the art training facilities. – Over a year ago, your
athletic director, Regina Wood, nominated Park High School
for a Lift Life renovation. After reviewing your video submission, we’re excited to announce
that we have selected you as a semifinalist for our next project. – We sent our film crews to
each of the final schools to have them show us why
they deserved a top spot. – All right, Park High,
it’s your time to shine. Next you’ll see a short clip
of your video submission. – [McKayla] What are we doing right now? – Okay, we’re outside of Park High School. We’re getting ready to go in, they’re having their
pep assembly right now. They have no idea that we are here. So, we’re gonna go in
and surprise them and let them know that they
have been chosen for the next renovation. So, a little nervous but here
we go, we’ll figure it out. – It’s go time! – Stay tuned. – Hi, welcome to Park High School. My name’s Regina Wood, I’m
the activities director here in Livingston, Montana. Our school was completely
renovated in 2012, even in the time of economic downturn, our community passed a
bond for 15 million dollars to update our school with
brand new technology, equipment, state of the art everything. The only place that was
untouched, unfortunately, was our weight room. So, it’s still the exact
same as it was in 1998. – This leg press machine
sticks when we get too much weight on it, it’s not very good. (creaking) Then our bike is missing
pedals, as you can see. – I definitely think that if
we updated the weight room, we could get more people
in it so we could kind of promote working out and getting in shape. We’d have more time for it. – I think we need to
renovate our weight room. It’s important so we can
have better sports programs, and so you don’t end up
with biceps like this. (people cheering) – So, what do you think Park High? We are one of four schools
in the nation being considered for this project
right now, it’s pretty cool. (people cheering loudly) – Did we interrupt something? – You did, oh my gosh. – We could not miss the
opportunity to come meet you guys in person, see just kind
of what your school is about. As you saw, we are the Lift Life Team. (light giggling) If anybody doesn’t know,
this is my older sister. So, we’re happy to be here. (people cheering) So, anyway, the real reason
we wanted to come out was to announce that you
guys are not a semi-finalist, but we have decided to
pick Park High School as our next Lift Life weight room renovation. (people cheering loudly) – I need every single
one of you to stand up. I. – [Audience] I! – I believe! – [Audience] I believe! – I believe that! – [Audience] I believe that! – I believe that we! – [Audience] I believe that we! – I believe that we will win! – [Audience] I believe that we will win! I believe that we will win! I believe that we will win! (simple playful music) – It’s been such a whirlwind. I’m still in a little bit of shock. It was a very cool
surprise, I’m very impressed that everybody pulled it off. But it just makes me so
humbled and so excited for our kids and I’ve had teachers
stopping in all day as they’ve been able to catch me and just saying how excited they are, and just how excited the kids are. Which, for me, is even better. I knew that I would be
excited about it but to hear that they just
can’t stop talking about it is really cool. – Regina Wood is the athletic
director here at Park High and she’s actually my sister. We talked a little bit about
would they be a candidate for something like this. I mean, they’re in a rural community. For me, I feel you should
absolutely nominate your school, submit a video, go
through the whole process. I can’t make the decision. I’m part of it, but ultimately,
it’s gonna come down to everybody else on the
team, our board members, that kind of stuff. – We could really get a
sense that they needed and wanted this weight room,
and that it would impact so many different layers
throughout the school and the community. – So, Livingston is kind
of an interesting place. So, it’s a railroad town, as
I’m sure you’ve discovered. And working for the railroad,
you made more than you did in a lot of professional jobs. Then in 1985, the railroad pulled out. So now, here we are two generations later. It’s quite a mix in this community. You have very wealthy people here, but 50% of our students qualify
for free and reduced lunch. That means you’re one or two
paychecks away from poverty, away from maybe losing your house or not being able to pay the rent. – The timing of you all
doing this is one way you’re gonna understand what
you’ve done for the school. Especially with everything we have planned with our community and with our school, and where this is gonna take off. – We do have an extreme
population of poverty and we have people that
don’t have resources that everyone thinks are
available to everyone. And it’s not just healthcare,
it’s even just the wherewithal to know where to get
help and how to get help. We talked about it, we had a
whole day of suicide prevention a few months ago, and just
looked at all the different factors that would make
Park County the number one rate of suicide county in the state. – The cause of suicide is complex. What I see though is issues connected with generational poverty,
smoking and drinking, and drug abuse, and struggles
with mental illness. – We’re working on a lot of
trauma informed practices and so working with kids with
chronic trauma and poverty. So, we have started a district wide and involved our community to
make it community wide, and we’re actually starting a movement that’s called Live Well 49. – We do, in Montana, have
the highest suicide rate in the national. Access to mental healthcare is difficult. So, building stronger
supports and connection is one way to try to change that and at least make sure that people
are connected to each other. It’s pretty special
that we were chosen and someone saw that in this community, and wanted to give that gift. That’s pretty amazing. – So, part of why I
think this project ties nicely into the needs of
the community is overtime, that physical strength, transfers to your mental strength. – And I think that’s where this is going to help so much is that, you know, it will hopefully will be a
place that kids want to be and they want to be in
there more and more, and not just because they’re in a sport, but because they’re concerned
about their overall health and it’s a place that they
know they can go and be safe, and have fun and get better. That would be the ideal
big picture goal, I think, for everyone in the school. – So, when we came through
the weight room for our first initial tour, seeing
the space for the first time was really cool. It actually, this particular
one, is a lot smaller than we initially thought and what was kind of perceived
through the video. – I think that in smaller
schools, and schools in general, you make do with what you have and we do. We have a lot of people in this community that are willing to step up and always wanting to help out the school. So, a lot of the equipment’s donated, a lot of the upholstery was, oh, I know someone that can do that. So, we’ve pieced that
together and I think, no matter what you have,
we’re trying to instill in the kids a sense of pride
and a sense of discipline, and a sense of taking care of things and leaving things better than you found them. And making that, if you’re
gonna do those little things, then hopefully those bigger
things get done as well. – We were making the best
with what we have but we only have three platforms. Most of our bars are not Olympic bars, a lot of them are bent
and starting to rust. Our platforms are handmade,
somebody took some rubber mats and tried to glue
them to laminate flooring. – The entire school was, the
inside was completely done, the new gym and the new
art wing was added on. All this money was being
put into education and it was kind of like the
weight room was the last, it seems frivolous, it’s
just the weight room. And I think it was kind
of like it’s good enough. – When I first got here
and saw the weight room, it wasn’t organized and
it was kind of a mess. And there was no pride, I
mean, it was really clear. They’re doing a much better job of it now because they understand
how important it is and they’re taking pride in it. So, all our kids are trying
to keep it pretty organized. Right now, in some of those machines, the bolts have come loose on the seats and they weren’t safe and there’s
that huge machine in there, I don’t even know what it’s called, and it’s too big for that room. There’s just no use. If you would figure out how
much that space is really being used, it’s not. So, it’s inefficient. – [Regina] Is it a
workable space, you guys? – It’s exciting, we
love seeing this stage. At this point, the
opportunities are endless and the sky’s the limit. (intense energetic music) – I have this little, I
guess, post-it note that I’ve been collecting for the last… Since I started working with the kids and noticed how crappy our weight room is. But just things that we need
to try to find money for, pull up bars, fix the bars that we have, we need additional plates,
what we’re going to do about the rowing machine,
and just stuff like that that we were gonna try
to find money for or see if someone in the
community would buy it for us. But I am now going to throw it away. – How’s it going, sir? – I’m Derek, I’m the facilities director. – So, when we came in here, we
kind of dissected this place. There is a small hallway
off to the left hand side. One of the next question
came about is this wall. Maybe it could go away. – I cannot express to
you how much I’d love to get rid of this wall. This hallway is a waste of space. It wants to have things thrown in it. People want to just… Because it’s out of sight, out of mind. – We’re in discussions
about if we can remove this wall or not, it
will give us another six or seven feet down this hallway. So, it would really kind
of open up the space and kind of give us a more
dramatic transformation to the weight room. The wall is a load bearing wall, so that means it’s supporting
the roof at that point. So, we are actively looking
at what our options are. That’s gonna be kind of the major piece on the construction side that
we’re gonna have to deal with. (exciting music) – [Boy] Last summer, we added
on the little, we welded– – [Makayla] The bottom part? – The extensions on for the weights. – [Makayla] Oh, okay. – And they’re kind of tricky
sometimes to wiggle on and off, those plates. – Is there any pieces of
equipment that you need that you don’t have right now? – I would do just a lot of
Olympic workouts right now and the racks are kind of. We’ve been wanting to get new racks. – Most of the time we have
to, if we have a workout, we have to really go
in different orders and try to figure out how to do it without waiting most of the time to use certain. – [Makayla] Utilize
the hour that you have, or whatever, per period. – I feel like in athletics,
once we all started, our class started to build
around the weight room when it came to games, we had
something to fall back on. We know how hard we’ve worked. – Do you feel like that team
building aspect starts here? – Yeah, yeah, it definitely comes here. – I think that it’s a
good place to start here, just to get in the routine. And being part of a team
helps so much in every other aspect. Learning how to get along with people, even if you might have differences. Putting in is all that
you have no matter what. It just helps in every aspect
of life, not just in sports. – I was really impressed
by their excitement and enthusiasm that we were there
doing this project for them. And that makes me even more
pumped to do this for them and to give them a quality
weight room they can use. – They have a space,
it’s a functional space and they take care of what they have. But there’s more to it. The need a multilevel
type of training facility. It seems like they’ve got
a lot of different kids coming through here and they’ve
all got a different sport or a different way of training. – And so, we’re really
focusing on creating a cross functional multipurpose
weight room to where we can maximize a space. – If we do what we’re supposed to do, I think it’s gonna be amazing. (soft peaceful music) – So, we put out a call to all
of our coaches and athletes, and we set up a time on a
Sunday that said, you know, bring anybody you can,
it wasn’t required but we probably had about 40
people show up to help move equipment. Basically, just a little ant
line of people coming out of the old weight room
up into the new space. There were a few of the
bigger pieces that we had to pull the bleachers out and
move them up through the gate. The kids were, they were into it. I think they know that it’s
for this thing that’s going to benefit them so much. Everyone’s been so flexible
and patient with it, to just say, whatever we
need to do make it work. Ready guys, one, two, three! – [Crowd] Hey Lift Life,
Park High is ready for you! Whoo! (deep rhythmic music) – Probably our biggest
change has been our new strength and conditioning coach that we hired over the summer. So, that’s been a great change all ready, just for the culture of
that part of the school. – Okay, so, let’s get the jump ropes out. Those of you who don’t
have access to a jump rope, we’re gonna do jumping jacks. So right now, we’re actually
in our current weight room and this is what we’ve got. We got this space, it’s
the mezzanine area in the gymnasium. You know, it’s not ideal,
we’re always having to share the space with other
activities, other sports. But I always tell the
athletes that, you know, we’re gonna make whatever
space we have work. Okay, ready to rock? Get in groups of three
or four, check the sheet, we got a paper up there,
you know the drill by now. Let’s do three sets of
eight on the deadlifts, on the bench, modify it because
we got a short time today. I mean, anything that’s
a step up from this is gonna be a win, but
what I see is, personally, I see our sports team
benefiting from this, the general student body. I had a kid just talking
to me my last strength and conditioning class, he goes
over to a commercial gym here in town because this
isn’t the most exciting place to workout. He said once we get a new gym, he’s gonna start lifting
here at the school. So, that I would like to see. I’d like to see the students
staying here in the school. After school that we know
that the kids that are involved in after school
programs, their grades go up, their graduation rates go up, issues with drugs and alcohol go way down. So, I just see this
weight room as just really the final piece to tie in together our little community here in Livingston. – [Man] We’re visiting
with Kirk Calzacorta with the Lift Life Foundation. And how many do you think
you can get done here over the course of a year? – [Kirk] So, we do two projects per year. It takes about three to
four months per project of backend planning and logistics, and ordering everything that goes into it. We do it in a very
short amount of time and floor-to-ceiling overhaul
complete with state of the art equipment for these
underprivileged students at these underfunded high schools. – [Man] Well, I think it’s great, having spent a lot of
my life in weight rooms, I imagine as you have. Congrats and I think it’s a great thing. (fun rhythmic music) – Hey everybody, it is
day four of our fourth gym transformation here in
Livingston, Montana. As you can tell, our space is now empty. About five or six days
ago, this place was full of weight equipment and a
fully functional gym. At this point, we have
completely demoed the entire thing from floor to ceiling. We’re super excited to
kind of wrap up this week, keep going, and see what happens
over the next three weeks, we’re gonna come back. We’re gonna keep going and really, hammer this thing hard. (phone ringing) – Hey, how are you guys? There you are. – Thanks for joining us today. We’re just gonna run through the game plan after being in Montana all
last week, demoing the wall and the ceilings. – Andrew, did you get that
email I sent you this morning? – I did, I sure did. – Okay, so we’ll kind of
go through all those files that we sent. A lot of the kids didn’t
really have like a wish list besides the girls wanted
to see bright gold. Other than that, it’s the
equipment they want the most, functional equipment. So, my idea’s just kind
of like the cherry on top. So, when I go back and talk to the guys, we throw out all the wild
ideas of should we do turf, should we do gold plated weights. I think it just starts from
there and then whatever’s, A, feasible, B, not too over the top, and C, kind of meets the
requirements they want. Then we’ll start to go through
that and then I’ll start to develop different
logos and different ideas. But that’s just where it starts, is kind of siffling
through everything we’ve gathered here and going from there. Thanks, Andrew. – Of course. – We’ll see you in a month. – [Andrew] I know, I’ll
see you literally less than a month, it’s crazy. (deep dramatic music) – The last time I was in
there, when Dylan was here, when they took the wall
out and had done that demo, that was the last time I was in there. So, it’s been about a month. Just the bare walls, you
know, the wall was taken out and I could see that but I
haven’t seen anything since. – This space has changed
dramatically, even structurally. Prior to us getting here,
this used to be a wall. This actually was a hallway. – After we got that cinder
block wall out, we left. During that time, we had
the space painted and the mirrors came in. So, when we came back, we
had to start building back the ceilings and getting
the lights back installed. We built that whole grid system. We came in, we started dropping tiles and then we started kind of doing borders and all that kind of stuff
over the next two days. All right guys, day four,
the ceiling is now complete. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for, the flooring’s arrived. I got Jody with HC Company
here and James to help us out. We’re opening this thing up and see what she looks like in a truck. Fun stuff! This ought to keep us busy
for two or three days. Stay tuned. (laughing) Based on budget for this
project, we had to do the flooring ourselves, so
it was a big undertaking but we were able to tackle
it and do a quality job. So, we’re really happy
with how it turned out. And I think this is the
first project that we can truly say that we’ve
done the entire project from floor to ceiling now. It’s always been a floor
to ceiling transformation, but we legitimately have taken
this on 100% by ourselves, and now we’ve got all
our partners coming in. We have kind of the
infrastructure placed now, now we just have to
transform the rest of it. (exciting music)
(bell ringing) – [Regina] I really get the
sense that the kids don’t have any idea how different it’s going to look. – I’m just excited for
the upgrade, honestly. – Us being the first ones to use it, that’s gonna be pretty cool. – I know when we’d do it
during the summer is just like stuff’s falling apart, and bent. Once every week, we have
to organize all the stuff because it’s just all over the place. What you wanna do next? – I was interviewed by some
kids for the newspaper, the student newspaper. And when I was talking to
them just about what I think, just based on seeing some
of the videos and stuff. I mean, they were just like, what, it’s not just like a couple
new pieces of equipment. That sort of thing. So, while we put the video
of some of the previous projects out there, I don’t
think a lot of the kids have seen them and so,
while they’re excited, I don’t think they really
know what’s coming, which, I don’t know, good or bad, that’s kind of the sense I get. (playful rhythmic music) – Hi guys, so for those
of you guys that haven’t been here yet, we’re
gonna get ready to start moving a lot of equipment. The way that we have this
thing designed here is we’re gonna set it all
on that platform out here to keep everybody out of the water for tracking it back into the gym. So, let’s go out there
and have a good time and get this thing done. (fun exciting music) – The one good thing about this
particular school this time is the way these doors are set up for this particular school, we have easy
access into the weight room. So, it’s gonna make
this job so much easier than the ones we’ve done in the past. – [Makayla] We had to cover
up some of the equipment. We put blankets over top of them as we were rolling them around
because they were too big to fit through the single door. And they’re all trying
to peak and look around, and I told them to look
away to be surprised. – So, this morning we’ve
been focused on assembling the rig. There’s three different pieces. About two, four, six,
eight, 12 uprights that we had to assemble, get plumb, get square, so a lot of measurements involved. And once we got it in a
center of the platforms here, we had to actually bolt them to the floor. (loud grinding) – The details on this thing are amazing. Check out the logos up here. You always go to a gym and
you just start working out, but you don’t understand the details, every little thing that
stacks up to actually be able to lift 100 pounds. You don’t just lift 100 pounds, there’s like 20 pieces in that 100 pounds that enable you to lift that. So, that’s the cool part, to actually see all the
stuff come together. – I think that’s awesome. I think the gold is
exactly what we wanted and it’s gonna be really cool, unique piece that we’ve never done before. – Honestly, I think we’re in great shape. The reason we laid this
gym out the way that we did is because we understood
that it’s not just for kids that are athletes, it’s for all the kids. I think anybody will
be able to walk in here and get a workout in. (soft peaceful music) – I do get the sense that
people downplay where they come from, you know,
it’s just Park High. And I’m not sure where that stems from. It seems to be a feeling of
even what they have here, they’re not worthy of,
that it’s not for them, it’s for somebody else. – The community and the
students think that they’re second class in some way. The other thing is I think
this is not a new phenomenon. I think this attitude of kind
of being second class people has been here awhile, long
before I’ve been here. And so, we really need
something big to change that. A new culture, and I think
that this weight room could be that, could be that big change. – We need to be more competitive
here at Park High School and we are aware of that. And it starts in the weight room. So, it will give our kids
that self-efficacy that not only do we have a nice weight room, but now you gotta put in the time. I think everywhere from
how the kids feel to how they compete is
gonna have a huge effect. – The kids talk about other
weight rooms across the state. I hear it constantly of, you know, you should see Dillon’s weight room, you should see Butte
Central’s weight room. I wish we had that, I mean,
I hear that constantly. So, I think that for kids
to know that other schools are gonna come in here and see that and think that about them,
it’s such a small thing but that’s huge and we’re
trying to change tradition and culture and all of those things. Again, the timeliness of
this and being a key focus of what our coaches and our
board, and our administration is looking at to say we need
to raise those expectations. – Today’s Thursday,
tomorrow morning, 8:00 am is the reveal, and so today
is a lot about just buttoning up loose ends. Through planning and
all that kind of stuff, we’ve been able to stay ahead of schedule, so we’re not behind the
8 ball at this point, we are where we needed to
be at the end of everyday. We didn’t have to put in
20 hour days to get ready to go the next day to do it again. And so, I feel more
relaxed on our process and where we’re at through this whole thing. I don’t have any doubt
that with the team we have, we’re gonna come through on this one. It’s homecoming week for Park High. So, they do an iron man volleyball game. The Lift Life team was invited
to put together a team. 7:00 tonight we’re going
to bring that house down. (intense deep music) (people cheering) (loud cheering) (whistle blowing) (mumbles) – Good job, good job, good job. (slow intense music) – It’s go time. – Good morning, Rangers. Are you excited today? (people cheering) Happy homecoming week. Thank you for all your participation. It’s pretty exciting this morning. Everybody in this room
is going to get to see the new weight room this morning. (cheering) A couple of things I wanna say
first to this crew back here, they will never be able to
know how much we appreciate them and we will never
be able to repay them. Obviously if we could repay them, we would’ve just done it ourselves. (laughing) They will never know
how much we are grateful for what they have given
you guys as a community. So, we hope that you will go
in there with that mindset of wow, this is a gift
that was given to us by this group of people and they believe in helping students,
and that is pretty cool. (crowd cheering) – We are so excited that
today has finally come. As Regina said, my name is Dylan Cooper. I have the privilege of working for the Lift life Foundation,
and also dominating in some iron man volleyball. (laughing) For those of you who didn’t see it, we actually got crushed by
your senior boys last night. (crowd cheering) This has been an experience
we will never forget. We hope this new training
facility not only allows you to reap the benefits
of getting super swoll, like my friend Rob here. (crowd cheering) No, but we really do, we
hope it acts as a rally point for new beginnings. We hope it gives the entire
student body the opportunity to train in a safe, multiuse,
multisport sanctuary that belongs to you, the students. We hope that every time you step in there, you’re reminded that your local community and people from across the country, they believe in you guys,
they want you guys to succeed. So, remember that when
you’re in there putting in your hard work. People really do care about
you, they want you to succeed. (crowd cheering) (soft inspiring music) – [Crowd] Four, three, two, one. (cheering) (dramatic rhythmic music) – I did not expect this. (laughing) – [Regina] That was like
a career highlight to see kids walking through. Pretty unforgettable. – [Ben] Just first class, everything. – This is amazing, amazing! And it’s at the right time for us. It’s just like, it’s life changing. – Every morning since
last March, in here until 6:00 in the morning, with
is nothing but bad weights. This is crazy, just crazy. – [Regina] I really like what
you guys did with the space, extremely intelligent. And we talked about it
being multifunctional for females, males, classes, you know, strength, speed, power, and I think there’s
something for everybody. – Absolutely. And some of the stuff, I haven’t even seen and I thought I saw it all but I haven’t. So, it’s gonna be fun to kind of see how some of this works. (laughing)
(cheering) – [Kirk] Can we bump? (energetic fun music)
(people cheering) – Okay, things are gonna
be a little bit different here in our brand new weight room. I know everybody’s excited. But you’ll find that there’s
still barbells in there, there’s still dumbbells in there, there’s still weight in there and we’re gonna be moving it. Nothing different there, so
let’s get our workout in. An investment like this,
and this is what this is, this is an investment into our community, the students that are gonna be able to use this weight room and then benefit from it, and then their kids. The ripple effect can go
just far down the line. (inspiring soft music) – I was kind of amazed there was this much room to begin with. – I (mumbles) what our weight
room could turn into this. It’s insane. – We’ve been fighting this
kind of second class mentality for a long time, and I
think that it’s very hard to think that in a facility like this. So, listen up, what do we think? – I love this. – It’s amazing! – So, we’re gonna take
it up a notch, all right? So, the first three weeks we’ve
been doing total body stuff, you guys are getting stronger,
I can see it all ready. With a facility like
this, the sky’s the limit. I really see big things
and I see us as a first class school and first
class community, period. (soft inspiring music) (deep dramatic music)

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