As many New Yorkers look to enhance their physiques in time for summer, a local high school is offering the community a chance to pump iron at its brand new gymnasium.
Franklin K. Lane High School in Woodhaven will hold a grand opening on Saturday, March 3rd, for residents to try out its new health center, equipped with state-of-the-art machinery.
Franklin K. Lane students, who came back to their first day of school last Thursday for the spring semester, will be able to use the equipment at the Fit For Life Center, as part of a program aimed to educate students, staff and residents about the importance of their health and well being.
“We want to get the community involved with the school,” said Paul Pedota, principal of the high school. “This is an excellent opportunity.”
In addition to the high school’s weight room, the health center was designed to provide students with an understanding of applying fitness to their everyday life, said Jim Curcio, assistant principal of physical education.
The center, which will be open to the community every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, was funded through grant money from the city’s Board of Education for the Fit For Life Program, which is in its second year at the high school.
Extra funds from the $50,000 grant were used to secure a new scoreboard in the basketball court and a rubber-matted floor in the weight room.
As part of the program, the high school will be offering two courses that will show students how to properly work out with the cardio-vascular, endurance and strength training equipment.
The center was opened last week for staff, who utilized the equipment, which includes treadmills, bikes and other equipment made by top-of-the-line manufacturers. For more information on the center, the school can be reached at 647-2100.
In addition to the health center, the high school recently obtained a defibrillator through a grant from Senator Serphin Maltese to prevent a future death resulting from cardiac arrest.
“We’re the first high school in the city to have a defibrillator,” Pedota said. “We’re very fortunate to have one.”
Three years ago, a security guard, who was in his 20s and had a heart condition, went into cardiac arrest while he was patrolling the building.
After repeated calls, it took the first ambulance 20 minutes to arrive. But the paramedics did not have a defibrillator. A second ambulance arrived later. But he died before he could be taken to the hosipital.
The response time for the ambulance to arrive and help the patient was beyond the time needed to save his life.
Now, the high school has three members on its staff—a doctor, a police officer and an administrator—trained to use it to save people with heart problems.
With a student population of more than 3,000 and a staff of 200, the chance of another person going into cardiac arrest is a real possibility, school officials said.
Norman Cohn, the school’s assistant principal of the science department who is authorized to use the defibrillator, said if school officials had a defibrillator before the incident happened with the security guard, they could have saved his life.
“I hope I never have to use it,” said Cohn, who is a certified paramedic and is certified as an instructor for its use. “But if we can save a life, it’ll be great.”
Pedota thanked the community, Maria Thomson, executive director of the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation and Medtronic Physio-Control Corporation for helping to provide the $3,500 defibrillator.