Tax deductible donations accepted to support weight room redo project at Pratt USD 382

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Pratt High School football coach Tyler Strong puts a coat of traditional Greenback green paint on the walls of the school's weight room. Donations made it possible for a renovation project for the weight room this year.
Pratt High School coach Brett Hoelting puts some finishing touches on a new paint job, part of the weight room renovation project ongoing at USD 382.

With more than 300 student-athletes expected to make use of USD #382s weight-lifting facilities this year, Pratt Atheltic Director David Swank figured it was time for a renovation that would bring the much-used rooms up to par with other similar facilities.

"This is the most-used space we have in the school right now," Swank said. "We have 220 high school students enrolled in weight classes starting this week, and over summer we had many of those same athletes, pluse 70-80 middle school kids in our building lifting weights. It was time for an upgrade."

Swank said the weight room at Pratt High School has always been functional and was vitally important in the 2016 state football championship run and for the 2014 state softball  championship team, but it has had very few changes since the building opened 14 years ago in 2007.  

"The flooring was replaced this summer by our district along with adding some needed dumbbells. However, it lacks many of the motivating touches typical of 4A high school weight rooms across the state," Swank said.

There were no district funds available to renovate the weight rooms so Swank called in for support from several much-appreciated school donors.

"PHS has been blessed with donors that have contributed lead gifts over $70,000," Swank said. "Lead gifts have come from several anonymous donors, InteGreen, People’s Bank, Stanion Wholesale Electric and the PHS Booster Club."

Swank said the complete weight room makeover will cost an estimated $90,000.   During the month of August, all Greenback supporters are asked to step up to help complete the weight room project. 

"All gifts, no matter what the size, are important to help us reach this goal," Swank said. "Our goal this fall is to move students and athletes into a championship weight room environment as they work towards developing the skills of grit, passion and team.  This makeover will include Greenback squat racks, motivating quotes, mirrors for each squat rack, tvs on each wall for communication and motivation, and a new stereo system.  Each day as students walk to the weight room they will pass through a new Greenback State Championship hallway featuring pictures of Greenback championship teams.  Finally, we hope to install indoor artificial turf in the wrestling room.  This adjoining room's focal point will remain wrestling; but it will provide space for indoor workout opportunities for students in weights classes.  It will also help keep our wrestling mats in better shape as they will not have the daily grind of weight workouts."

During the past few weeks, many Greenback coaches have joined in the renovation process, coming in to apply new paint to the walls. Some of those helping included coaches Hoelting, Battin, Hildebrand, Liggett and Strong, plus others.

"This truly is a great demonstration of a team effort," Swank said.

To make a donation, or for more information, call Swank at 620-672-4540.