AAHS brightens indoor facilities
The indoor activities wing at the brand new Alexandria Area High School will offer athletes and fans an alternative to the dark, windowless spaces they had grown accustomed to at Jefferson.
Construction crews are currently putting the finishing touches on the new gymnasium and fitness facilities that, at first glance, look more like those you would see on a college campus rather than at a high school. Large windows in the school’s gymnasiums and the fitness and performance center will allow for natural light to shine inside and provide some additional brightness that was lacking at the old high school.
Athletes and students will also find enough room for their equipment inside four separate locker rooms, and the brand new training room facility will give athletic trainers more flexibility for the treatment of injuries.
The fitness and performance center at AAHS has extra space and new equipment that will give high school athletes some improved options for their strength and cardio training programs.
Activities Director David Hartmann said the room is big enough for multiple teams to use at one time, something that was not an option at Jefferson High School.
“We really want to change the culture here,” Hartmann said. “We want to make this a place where the kids want to come and get better.”
The room has 22 different pieces of cardiovascular machines featuring treadmills, ellipticals and bikes, along with 16 weight racks that have multiple functions.
Besides cardio and weight equipment, the room also has two machines that will give athletes the opportunity to improve their vertical jumps and a turfed area for specialized exercises. The new fitness center is set up with the equipment and space to help fit each athlete’s specific needs.
“It’s not going to be the traditional, ‘I have to lift weights,’” Hartmann said. “There are multiple things they can do to get better.”
Athletes and spectators will all benefit from the extra space inside the gymnasium facilities at the new high school.
Hartmann said the court and bleachers were designed to give athletes more room outside of the playing area to cut down on their risk of injury if they tumble out of bounds. Spectators will now be able to walk alongside the bleachers without entering the playing areas of the basketball and volleyball courts.
A total of five full-sized courts at AAHS will give the high school plenty of options to host tournaments or multiple sporting events at the same time.
Hartmann said this extra space should help when it comes to the school’s physical education classes.
“We could have three different phy. ed. teachers on three different courts talking with microphones at the same time,” Hartmann said.
The main gymnasium will have three full-sized basketball or volleyball courts that can all be used at one time. Volleyball nets hang from the ceiling and can be lowered and set up with the touch of a button. This takes away some of the risk involved with players carrying heavy equipment to set up nets, as they did before.
When used for varsity games and matches, the center court where the varsity teams will play has enough bleacher space to hold 2,000 spectators.
An auxiliary gymnasium will have two different courts with enough seating for 300 fans. A wrestling room is also located near the gymnasiums. A training room in the activities wing contains both whirlpool and ice bath stations to offer students options when dealing with minor injuries.
Another unique piece of technology at AAHS that students and alumni should find unique is the two scrolling kiosks.
These kiosks are located on touch-screen televisions and will give users the opportunity to scroll through pictures of trophies, team photos and athletes from this year’s teams and those in years past. The kiosk will also have electronic copies of every Alexandria yearbook from 1919 through the most recent edition.