By Lucas Vader

Staff Writer

A brand new fitness course is coming to Cedaredge Middle School (CMS) this summer thanks to a grant from the Colorado Health Foundation (CHF). The fitness course will be a unique addition to the CMS premises, as nothing like it currently exists.

According to CMS Counselor Adriana McHugh, this course will include 11 parts, as well as a new basketball course in a better location, as there are now only two hoops at the edge of the east-side parking lot. The new course and court will be on the inner field of the school, accessible out the south-facing door that goes into the activities hall.

According to McHugh, everything is planned to be complete in about a month.

“It’s going to be pretty fast,” McHugh said. “They’re starting on the dirt work this week and it’s going to be installed by early July.”

The whole project of a new fitness course came up quickly, in fact, as the earliest ideas for the equipment came up earlier in the most recent academic year, starting with a student who inspired McHugh to look into outdoor fitness equipment for the middle school age group.

“There was nothing to do, [the student] wasn’t very athletic, he didn’t play the games that kids were playing, and he was very upset,” McHugh said. “So I started looking into buying more equipment for the school so that kids could have more choices during recess.”

McHugh said that, since middle school is a “tough age” with many student preferences and developments changing at different rates, she didn’t want to look at traditional playground equipment, nor did she want to limit it entirely to gym equipment. She therefore researched to find what would be best.

CMS ultimately accepted a bid from AtoZ Recreation, a company with the most age-appropriate equipment and the ability to help install it.

As for the CHF grant, CMS was awarded $205,255 for the project. McHugh applied for the February wave of funding, and they received that funding earlier in May.

The main goal behind any funding that CHF provides is to help Coloradans live their healthiest lives. Therefore, their grant money goes mainly into things like playground equipment, outdoor trails and general recreation.

AtoZ Recreation will lead the installation of CMS’s new fitness course, for which there are already generated renderings to show what the equipment will look like. Hardy Hutto Construction will handle the dirt work and concrete for the base of the fitness course.

With current plans in place, the fitness course will be complete in about a month, when it will stand in the area south of the gym.

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