State-of-the-art ArcFit Wellness Complex a hit at Brush High School
Mark Podolski — The News-Herald
There is a healthy transformation occurring at Brush High School.
That makes South Euclid-Lyndhurst Superintendent Linda Reid happy.
One of the caretakers of that movement — Mentor High graduate Ryan Dugan — is seeing the payoff at the high school.
Photo gallery >>
At the former vocational wing of Brush, there was once an auto garage used for an Excel auto tech program.
With interest in the program to be an auto mechanic waning, it was sent to the Willoughby-Eastlake School District.
The auto garage at Brush didn’t stay vacant for long.
In 2015, it was transformed into the ArcFit Wellness Complex.
The state-of-the-art facility was complete in 2015, and was funded by Legacy Village and the school district, according to Reid.
The complex also features a classroom and a coaches meeting room converted from computer labs, but the main attraction is ArcFit, which Dugan said was Reid’s vision.
It features 12 weightlifting racks — each with tablets that feature tutorials and program trackers — plus a multitude of other workout stations.
There’s also an indoor track that extends to the outside of the facility to a 25-by-25-yard long turf area for speed and agility training.
For Dugan, hired by the school district as its fitness and wellness coordinator, running the complex is a dream.
“When you walk into this place, you realize, it’s not just another gym,” said Dugan.
The ArcFit complex goes beyond Brush’s student-athletes.
Currently, said Reid, the complex is on Phase 2 of a three-phase plan.
• Phase 1 included implementing the school’s two-year exercise science and rehabilitation program as part of the area’s Excel Program. It will go into effect for the 2017-18 school year. Also for Phase 1 was having Brush High teams and students using the ArcFit complex.
• Phase 2 includes opening the complex to the 550 South Euclid-Lyndhurst District employees.
• Phase 3, said Reid, includes partnering with organizations and opening the complex to the community.
“That’s the vision,” said Reid, a former track and field athlete at Kent State and former high school coach. “We just haven’t gotten there quite yet.
“I want to concentrate on something, and do it well, before we expand too quickly.”
Reid is most excited for the exercise science and rehabilitation program. A recent survey of Brush students revealed 53 percent were interested in a profession in health or science.
“We wanted to bring more 21st century programs to our district,” said Reid.
As part of Excel programs, students at Mayfield, Beachwood, Chagrin Falls, Willoughby South, Eastlake North, Aurora and Orange high schools can apply for the first class of the exercise science and rehabilitation program. It’s open to juniors and seniors.
According to Reid, 83 students have already applied for the program’s 25 spots in 2017-18. Upon completion, students will have earned six college credit hours.
“We expect the program to be very competitive,” she said.
Dugan has also created a wellness and fitness club designed for non-athletes at Brush. That group, plus the athletic teams that utilize ArcFit, makes Dugan’s days busy.
“We can have up to three different teams working out here at once,” said Dugan, 27, a former Baldwin Wallace football player and assistant coach at Toledo and Lake Erie College. “They love the facility. To see the growth the kids have made, not even being here a year, has been very fulfilling.
“Some of the kids who come in here aren’t athletes, and to see their development and their attitudes change is great.”
A lot of that is the facility, said Dugan.
“I try to always remind our (students) to be grateful for what we have,” he said. “Someone’s having a bad day, or a bad lift, I always tell them you’re working out in what I think is the best gym in the state.”