Crummy High School Gym Gets World Class Makeover | Anderson Prep Academy
OK, let’s go, let’s get started. Tick-Tock. Time is money. Get warmed up. Your warm-up sets do not count as work sets. Do not lie to me, do not lie to yourself. Foust Night does not do a work set with 135. That does not happen. I was never really, you know, a world-class athlete, by any stretch of the imagination. I was a lot smaller than some of the kids my age and as such, you know, one of the formative experiences of my freshman year in high school, the end of the season the coach had pulled five or six of us aside to invite us not to participate any more because we were too small and he feared for our safety. Remember, we only got 40 minutes to try to get all this in. Looks like the log is going to be open. Don’t be afraid to do the fun stuff first. And that was kind of my, I guess, indoctrination into the idea that, you know, I could maybe change my degree of physicality, you know, by working in the weight room. And it made a big difference. C’mon now. Big push, big push, big push. C’mon. Rep ’em now, rep ’em now. When you begin to discover that the harder you work the more successful you are. Alright, good set, good set. Hey, note to self: Heavier next time, alright? That was way too easy. Most of the guys that I know in weight training started as high school athletes. Last one, last one. Knock it out. Every single student has, you know, made huge gains being in there. We definitely try, we try to push them in that direction and we always talk about, you know, it’s, it doesn’t matter what kind of facilities we have, we’re still going to train. For us to remodel the weight room. Those kind of funds really don’t exist. Not in a school like ours, just because the amount of funding that we get, not very much it usually goes towards the facilities. Seriously. Those are powerful reps, those are powerful reps. I mean, I was in Iraq, you know, working out with sandbags and, you know, cement in uh, Folger’s cans and stuff like that. I mean, just make it work, you know, even though our facilities are kinda, kinda downtrodden compared to the teams that we play, and things like that, we’re still going to have success. And, you know, failure’s not an option. My vision for many, many years, 30 years perhaps, had been to create a school with structure, discipline, top academics, and function within that environment. The Air Force core values are an important part of the school’s identity. Certainly excellence in all we do, service before self and integrity first. All of our students the entire school are in JROTC. They all wear the uniform. And they wear the Air Force uniform twice a week. Most units may only wear it one day per week. And that’s a vehicle. But it gives them the tools of how to dress for success. Responsibility, trust, honor, all of those factors that come with that. One of my biggest words, and one of my favorite words, in describing our kids is: empowered. When you see them put on their uniforms for the first time, they’re like five inches taller. And they have that puffed out chest and that, I’m proud of something, I belong somewhere. I mean, the kids come here because they want something more. They come here because they want to go to college. They want to be successful in life. I think the school changes everybody a little bit. Having the discipline aspect of it and the structure, it gives everybody a little bit more respect for authority and it kind of matures everybody a little bit more. Anderson community schools didn’t quite have the same thing that we were looking for. The teachers here did seem like they cared a little bit more, and we could just get more out of it academically. And that is something, you know, when Bob created our school was having the safe, structured, disciplined learning environment so that every kid could learn. Since this is a college preparatory institution much of it is labs and it is science. But when they come down here, many times they get the opportunity to get out of their seat. Whether we’re doing rocket building, whether we’re doing remote control aircraft stuff, whether we’re flying the drone. We have kids that will come here for four years and say, you know, there’s no way I’m going in the military. And then after graduation they said, you know, you’re my favorite class. All four years that I was there. And, you know, on some level you have to think that, you know, you’re making a difference. For decades, this community revolved around a huge influence of General Motors Corporation. In the 90s General Motors began to cut back. And they would close this factory, and that factory… Around 2000 or so, it really became serious. Factories closed, General Motors pulled out. And when that happened it was like an implosion. It just, the bottom fell out. You know, we always pay powerful lip service, I mean, to our connection to the kids. And, you know, how much of our time and effort that we will invest in them and that we believe in them and that we’ll do whatever we can to help them succeed. You know, the physical aspects of that sometimes don’t manifest themselves in the charter school world. Public charter schools in the state of Indiana get none to very little capital projects money from the state as other public school district schools. That said, to put together a state of the art fitness facility when you have HVAC systems that are on blink… There’s a priority. Now, the one struggle is with our athletics. We are generally very undersized. And if you take a look at our basketball team, if you take a look at our football teams, many parents will say we look like a middle school squad out there. Based on that, the importance of the strength and conditioning piece is even more important. I mean, we don’t have the luxury of guys playing one way. So not only do they have to try to compete at the level of their peers but they have to try to condition themselves above and beyond what their peers are doing out there, if we truly ever want to compete or be really, really successful. As far as a weight facility goes, it’s definitely just kind of thrown together. But, I mean, we work with what we have. I was trying to set up before and after school weight training, trying to get a curriculum developed to do it during the day. And a lot of the students were like saying, well why would I come here and work out? You don’t have any good equipment here. You know, I can’t get stronger, you know, using this or using that. And I’m like, sure you can. I mean, that, that’s not true. And now one of the questions they would say so, so you work out here too, Major Dorman? And I didn’t. I worked out at a commercial place out in town. And uh, and I guess it kind of delivered the message to me that if I was going to try to be a salesman for what we had here and whether or not it was successful and whether or not it worked, that I had to be our number one customer, too. So at that point, I terminated my gym membership out in town and then started training here at the facility. He will get up here at four o’clock in the morning and make do, just like we do here. And he still has the results that he has now. So it’s just, it’s just great to see that, you know, he’s, he’s a role model for us, you know, showing us that it can be done. He’s a great example of hard work. You know, just coming in here no matter what it wa,s I mean, finding every single way to work out or just coming in here and doing what he had to do. All the guys want to be as big as Major Dorman, so they look up to him. And when they see him, and that’s, like, the reason they go in the weight room, to achieve the goal to be as big as Major. I din’t think there was any way we were going to get this remodel. This isn’t the first thing that we’ve applied for, first grant we’ve applied for, so. I try. So I thought I’d try my luck, and Lord and behold, it worked out, so. Hey, what’s up Bodybuilding.com? My name is John Mummert, I’m the special education director. APA is a public charter military school. By the end of this video I think you’ll see that we are in drastic need of an overhaul of our outdated facilities. The Lift Life Foundation is a nonprofit foundation, and our mission is to find underfunded high school weight rooms across the country, go in, and basically bring these weight rooms back to life. After seeing their submission video it was very apparent that their weight room was in complete disrepair and could seriously use our help. We could see from the video of the submission of the passion that Major Dorman and Jonathan Mummert have for their school. They did way more than what anybody would’ve expected them to do with the equipment that they had. We’ve recycled old kegs and loaded them with salt, I mean, with sand and water, in order to make that, like a, you know, an imbalanced loading. I think that set them apart in that sense of their school was really hardworking and deserved it. Hey, hey! Welcome aboard. Major Jeff Dorman. Nice to meet you in person. Nice to meet you. Soon as we got in there, the staff itself they were just excited that this got picked up and there gym was going to get a makeover. When I broke the news to the players I, like, started tearing up, man. I still, I still do a little bit. Just, just, you know, it’s so exciting, man. They were in disbelief for about the first hour and a half that the team was there. And a lot of that, too, I think was not knowing what to expect. The Anderson weight room when we walked in was in really rough shape. This is our facility right here. It consisted of just this room and that room before we had the walls torn out. It was a disaster, to put it…bluntly, I guess. The room was definitely a little different than the sketch. There were some walls that were kind of sticking out that we didn’t expect. So whenever we’re, kind of, seeing a sketch and, kind of, getting an idea of the flow of something, those were obstacles that were in the way that obviously going to affect our initial vision. So when we walked in, first thing we were thinking was, that’s not going to work. It’s shocking to me that these places still exist in the modern-day school. Some of the ceiling tiles were busted and falling off, conduits that had been abandoned were all over the place, old outlets. Just so many hazards, if when you walk around that room anywhere you went there was some possibility you could get hurt. Big thing that stands out to me is the flooring. I mean, this looks like classroom or cafeteria-style, like, tiling. You don’t have any traction. You see the kids doing this, you know, and they’re slipping, they can’t really explode from dot to dot, they can’t get the maximum explosiveness. Could be a safety issue. Yeah. And it seemed like it was just, kind of, a patchwork of, you know, new equipment here, older equipment there. They had, like, old horse-stall mats. We were really excited to get this cable machine here, but then we realized there’s no place it can go. We had the cable machine and never been able to use it. The equipments come from anywhere we can find it. Some, some of it’s manmade, you know, handmade. We made it here. Others have been, you know, just stuff that we found. Donations from family members and faculty that just don’t use it anymore and they just bring it in. And we kind of polish it up and try to use it to the best that we can. Anything that they can turn into a strength exercise, they will. It was neat to see that they were resourceful. They’ve had to make pieces homemade, and that’s impressive. This is kind of a conglomeration of all the other stuff we have. Like I said, we do, like, a lot of odd objects stuff and we have several tires like this that are actually kinda, they’re basically like industrial strength sandbags because they, they don’t leak as much as the sandbags that you buy. And can just, like, whack the end off one, fill it up, zip tie it up and the bladders won’t break. Do you have bumper plates? We have, yes. Four. We have four. We knew after we spent about five, 10 minutes in that weight room that this was going to be our most challenging weight room yet. We’d kind of like to get together as a group, kind of digest everything that you guys have given us. Kind of, at this point we’re going to kick you guys out and kind of talk a little bit more about it. So, again, we appreciate you guys’ time. Yeah, cool. Ain’t no problem. The gym is in rough shape. Each room requires more work than the other. So the thing is, we’re going to be able to create a really cool, like, almost like three different atmospheres. We’re going to help cater to each individual athlete. Whatever their sport is, they’re going to be able to train in this gym and be very successful and functional. So we could put a strip of turf all the way down this backside. That’s one thought. That’s the first thought, but after, kind of, being in here, if this whole room was open, that would be the way to go. It might be best with these walls currently to have it more of an agility, an auxiliary, and then a free-weight room. When you’re, when you’re getting a call from a coach, typically it’s the football coach kind of heading it, because the other sports get to use the football weight room but they’re not actually as “important,” so to say, and it was actually kind of cool today to hear that it’s not football. There’s actually more students here that just like to come in here and train. So after our first assessment trip, you know, we came back and we had a ton of ideas running through our head and we knew we had a really big space, a unique space. When we first get there, I start to take notes and, kind of, just see, like, what the biggest areas, I guess, would be that I can place kind of a major, like, element of the gym. So that far back wall, we knew that we were going to probably have platforms on the side, so I thought that would be a really good area for, kind of, a big, major piece. And then we’ll have this leaderboard here. Do we have anything for that? I do. I have some samples to show in regards to that. I can’t give enough thanks to C3, Mary Johnson and John, over at Catapult. Mary has become extremely passionate about Lift Life and what we do. She never knows what she’s going to get when she gets involved with us. So it’s very refreshing to have her professionalism and eager attitude. The graphics, first off, the graphics look really, really good. This one’s going to be a home run. Excited about it. We got in there about a week earlier than almost everybody else. We decided to do two separate types of flooring. In the first room we did a turf. You know, this was the first time we’ve had turf in one of our weight rooms. It turned out looking phenomenal. You know, when we had the flooring installed, when we went to close the doors, all the doors are too long and they won’t close. We had to pull all the doors off in the space and cut all the bottom of the door to accept the new flooring, because we raised the floor three-quarters of an inch. We demoed two of the closets, mounted a bunch of shelves, made those more functional. We didn’t have any room for error. The flooring had to be completed by Sunday because the vinyl and the mirrors were to be installed Monday morning and the equipment was to show up Tuesday. So I couldn’t install the equipment until the mirrors were in, and I couldn’t do the mirrors until the flooring was done. So if one of those would have got out of order for us it would have been a big deal. Thanks for joining us. Just wanted to assemble the Lift Life crew real quick. You will have a to-do, to-do list on the, on the board. We’ll assign people to certain tasks. Once you finish that task, go ahead and mark it off the board. But we’re going to, kind of, split up in teams, and make sure that, you know, everybody, kind of, gets to circle around and have, kinds of, that whole experience. Alright. With that said, let’s do it. We’re in a high school, we have to do it. Lift Life on three. One, two, three Lift Life! Look at that. The school actually informed us that testing for the students were going on at the same time when we were trying to bring all the equipment in, which is, like, our loudest point in the process. And so we put some paper over the windows and Jim actually disconnected the backup beeper of the forklift so it wasn’t making a lot of sound and we tried to keep everybody very quiet while we were bringing in this huge equipment and, you know, lifting all this, the weights. So we’re running about seven trailers on this project in Anderson. The products coming from all across America. And as I say, it’s made to order, so we’re constantly on the phone to manufacturing companies to get ready dates. As soon as that’s ready, we’re arranging the time that it has to be here. Altogether, we’re unloading probably 130,000 pounds of equipment today, all by hand. I mean, the great thing is is we are able to, you know, fork this stuff, kind of, up to the door. So we’re, you know, we’re working through it, it’s just going to be a day. What’s that measurement? From that furthest point? It’ll fit through the door, easy. No. We have a single door access so we’re having to disassemble some pieces beyond to get it through the door. These coming in first, and then we’re going to have to, so we’re going to have to tip it on its side, go this end first and then turn as we come in. That’ll work. And then we’re trying not to, logistically, be on top of other people while they’re working. So the mirrors just got done, so we, there’s certain areas we can’t set up yet because they’re waiting to get completed. But, I would say overall we’re on schedule, if not ahead of schedule. Obviously with the military focus of the school, we wanted to make something that paid tribute to America and paid tribute to the fact that they raise these kids on these good values. So we wanted to have, obviously not, like, an America-themed weight room, we wanedt it to be Anderson Prep Jets, but I feel like we went over every single wall and every piece of real estate that we could think of. We didn’t want to overcrowd the gym with too much stuff going on. You know, we want your eye to follow, kind of, as it went through to the back. I just feel like, yeah, we work so hard to put it all together, and then we get here and everyone’s here and it’s like, it comes to life. And it’s, like, in the flesh, and we get to see it and it just makes the space come alive. And one of our favorite parts of it was the three jets. When we got there actually, we put them up on the window and when the sun would come down at like 10:00 it would cast this, like, amazing shadow down on the ground of these three jets and it looked like they were in the air. So there was all this fun stuff that we didn’t really knew was possible until we got there. We decided to do this stainless steel, you know, caps basically to highlight the breezeways in between each one of these rooms where they were cut out. The way that those were cut out unframed with the old metal was not really set up in any way to be finished. When we called MoFab over to do the measurements of the metal, for one they told me we couldn’t do it. Two, he told me that it was going to be two weeks before he could get the metal bent. Three, he just didn’t have a lot of faith in what we were trying to do. I begged him and pleaded with him that I, look I really need to get this metal, we open this thing Thursday, and this was on a Monday. He called me back later that afternoon and said, hey, I’ll have your metal done tonight. And I went to pick it up actually in a Chevy Cruze. But I think at that point he realized how serious we were about our project and our timeline, and they actually delivered it for us at 6 o’clock. Today is the final day before the reveal. It is crunch mode. And so we’re a little stressed because there’s a lot more to be done than really meets the eye. Kind of up against the gun in the sense that the reveal is first thing in the morning. I mean, we start at 7:45 a.m. But, you know, we’re going to get everything we need to get done in the weight room today. So when we arrive first thing in the morning we’re not stressed out and we’re ready to go. This ribbon cutting was unique from any other school we’ve done. You know, the assembly is standing room only with all of the cadets in their military uniforms. You know, that doesn’t happen in many other high schools. And so for us standing up there, being able to, kinda, have a peek and be a part of that was pretty powerful in itself. That morning I was just so excited to be like, I wonder, you know, what Major Dorman will think. I wonder what the different kids in the classes will think, what the girls will think, what the little kids will think, and just, like, how we’re going to impact their lives and more kids lives to come in the future. Good morning, Anderson Prep. I’m sure you’ve all been curious about what’s been taking place in your weight room the last few weeks, and today is the day that you’ll find out. This renovation was a huge undertaking. And it took four months of planning and two weeks of hard work for the Lift Life crew and all of our amazing partners to complete. This was a labor of love, and we couldn’t be happier with how it has turned out. So thank you once again to everyone involved. Your support and hard work is greatly appreciated. At this time, this is a bit of a surprise, but I would like to invite Coach Mummert and Major Dorman up to the stage, please, if you can break away. We’re going to conduct the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new weight room. All right, here we go. Boise State’s got nothing on us, man. Check it out. Sleds too, brother. I’m going to get rid of our old ones. Scrap metal now. Saving it in the closet, just in case. I was afraid. Oh my God, that thing actually slides. When the door finally opens and people start to flow through and you see the reactions and the just overwhelming excitement, like, that’s really at that point time where we can take a big sigh of relief and all that pressure is off our shoulders. But it’s a tremendous amount of excitement for us, you know, just to sit back and see all the work that has been put into the project and see how everyone at APA is responding to it. It’s just an incredible feeling. It’s really hard to describe, quite honestly. But it makes all those long hours worth it. State of the art. Better than we could have expected. Ten times what we expected, honestly. Thank you so much. It’s going to be such a difference. It couldn’t have been any better. I mean, you know, better than I thought it could possibly get. I mean, there’s equipment in here that I’ve never even, never even seen before. And, you know, and I’ve, you know, I’ve been working out since I was, like, 13. I’m kind of speechless. This is amazing, guys. Just absolutely amazing. I mean, this, this rivals, you know, fitness centers. I mean, it’s just, you know, I don’t know of a school, this size especially, that could even come close. It’s so much more than a weight room. Like, it absolutely, positively, you know, some people, they’re gonna like, big deal it’s a weight room. This is, for these kids, this is, I mean, it’s a life changer. Just the gratitude and everything that goes into it. To see them just saying, wow, somebody did something for us? The best part of being in education is getting to see potential. And when you see a kid realize their potential. And seeing their faces walking in right now, knowing that they just found a whole new level of potential and purpose, it’s, it’s incredible. I will say, my favorite part is the graphic over there. The tribute to our troops, and everything. Our kids were all like… I guess they don’t really have too many working drinking fountains in the school. And we were standing in the turf room and the first comment from 95 percent of all the kids were, oh my goodness, look at that water fountain. And it was actually referred to as liquid gold a couple times. Our president told us, he said if I’d known a water fountain was going to be such a big deal we’d have brought five of them with us. My eyes are getting drawn everywhere. I can’t, I can’t, like, focus. I’m having, like, one of those, you know, data overwhelm moments here. It’s just being inundated with everything. This is tremendous. As I mentioned to someone, this facility rivals colleges. For our students and this school, this community, to have this facility is just beyond expectation. What has occurred here with this project, again, reflects a positivity to the community that, you know, there are entities in this city, such as APA, Anderson Preparatory Academy, that have a vested interest in the welfare and the wellbeing of students and families. And this is proof. Don’t be standing around looking at stuff, having conversations while you’re sitting on the equipment. This is not a couch, this is not a bed, this is not a chaise lounge. Get on there, get your business done, and talk when you’re done. Get after it. For me, I hope the students of Anderson Prep have a brighter future because of the weight room. That they realize the impact this has on their lives and that it can set them up for success with not only health and fitness, but all of their goals and aspirations. What I’m going to take away from the Anderson project is we left it a better place than, you know, when, when we got there. This is something that is a brand new space, it’s a new beginning. They can, they can get in there. It can be a community, you know, kind of rallying point, as something where, you know, we take care of this stuff and pay it forward. And I feel like this gives them the right tool to do that. And for years to come I hope it gives all those students at the school a tool to really take advantage of. It’s so rewarding. Every project is different and it means something different to everybody. And that right there, it’s like, that’s why we do it, like, that’s why we change lives for these kids. The sky’s the limit. If you had told me a year ago, a year and a half ago, that we would have a foundation and we would be able to help change lives, I probably would have scoffed at you a little bit. But through hard work and dedication, I think you can do anything. And that would be what my words of advice to them is: Don’t give up and keep going. Alright. You less scared jumping on that thing now that it’s made of wood? I dunno, you should wrap that thing in barbed wire, huh? How about that? Good stuff.