GILMAN, Wis. (WEAU) - The Village of Gilman has a population of just more than 400.
But, despite its small size, it recently opened a new state of the art fitness facility that will not only benefit Gilman Pirate athletics, but the community as a whole. A project that started as a way to improve the Gilman High School weight room, turned into a free fitness center for the community. Gilman Principal Jon Hess said after presenting their vision with Aspirus Hospital, the Gilman School District was awarded $125,000 for the Pirate Pure Performance Community Fitness Center, which is located in the school.
“Our idea started as; let's get some new benches, squat racks, dumbbells, and barbells, whatever it may be. We actually got on a phone call with a representative from Aspirus,” Hess said. “That helped us open our eyes and develop a vision of, how can we not only impact our students, but how can we impact our community itself.”
The new fitness facility will not only benefit Gilman Athletics, it also gives community members a chance to improve their own health and wellness.
“Regardless if you have a strong fitness background or you are that newbie, or that beginner into the fitness world, you have that opportunity to get started, to get comfortable, build confidence and ultimately improve your level of fitness,” Hess said.
The new fitness facility also features state of the art equipment, like a self-propelled treadmill.
“Whether you are student, staff or a community member, you can come here to work on your level of fitness,” Hess said. “Whether that is strength training, cardiovascular training, socialization and participating in a fitness class and at the same time, educating people about healthy lifestyles.
The facility is available to people who live in the district Monday through Friday from 4:30 am until 7:30 am and then again from 4 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. It is also open on the weekends all day.
“In terms of sports and athletics, it's definitely a source of pride in Gilman,” Hess said. “We really want to have equipment our community members and students are proud of.”
Hess says this facility will greatly improve the lives of people in and around Gilman.
“It started as a small idea to get a few new pieces of workout equipment that materialized into a much bigger vision of how we can impact the community,” he said.
Gilman's mascot is, of course the Pirates. Each room has a name that references parts of a ship. The weight room is ‘The Deck”, the cardio room is referred to as “The Crow’s Nest” and the fitness classroom is known as “The Upper Deck.”