A new wellness room at a Charlottetown high school is proving to be a good fit.
The new room opened at the start of the school year. Now, many students are using it every day. The large space has a weight room, cardio machines, and daily fitness classes.
Charla Currie, a physical education teacher, said the room is being used to its full capacity.
"I dreamt that it would be this good," said Currie. "It's so busy, which is fantastic … our numbers have grown exponentially."
The school used to have a small, dark crowded weight room, but a renovation helped to double the size and bring in some much needed natural light with floor to ceiling windows.
"Now it's so much bigger, so much nicer," said Jonathan MacKenzie, a grade 11 student.
MacKenzie said people come at breaks and after school.
"They just want a break, so they come here," said MacKenzie. "It just gets their mind out of school."
"It's just a really nice space to be in," said Laura Lindsay, Athletic Director for the high school. "We have a very large student population and the need was definitely there."
Private sponsorship funded the room
D.P Murphy Incorporated — well known for many businesses including Tim Hortons — funded the project. The expansion cost about $250,000. Founder Danny Murphy went to the high school and said he started running when he was there.
"Exercise is such an important part of mental health," said Murphy. "Not everyone makes a team."
"We were very fortunate to have this donation," said Currie.
The Colonel Gray foundation is also constantly looking for grants and funding to help bring in new equipment.
A space for everyone
The athletics director said the space is more than a gym. Lindsay explained there are moments where it's a quiet space for students on a free period too.
"It's helping our staff and our students be well as a whole," said Lindsay.
Currie said it's also not just a spot for student athletes. They are getting a wide range of students using the room.
"We have every ability coming in working out too, everybody is so positive, encouraging," said Currie. "I think it's a really positive atmosphere and a safe place for people to come and exercise."
"You feel like you have support," said Madison Lockman, a grade ten student.
Lockman said she was not the type of person to go to a gym, but said she comes every day.
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