Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The fitness center at Lockport High School is getting into much better shape, after Board of Education members approved the purchase of new equipment at its meeting Wednesday night.
Board trustees approved spending $57,733.25 for five treadmills and machines for leg, abdominal, chest and shoulder workouts from G&G Fitness of Williamsville.
The fitness equipment was bid out by Erie I Board of Cooperative Educational Services, after a number of schools expresses interest in purchasing new machines. Four bids were received, but G&G Fitness was actually the highest priced.
Fitness Lifestyles was the lowest bidder at $38,250, followed by ProMaxima at $40,865 and Advantage at $51,036.
Deborah Coder, the district’s assistant superintendent for finance, said the board doesn’t have to go with the lowest bid as long as the resolution they pass explains why.
“It has to be clearly stated,” Coder said.
But, Athletic Director Pat Burke sent a letter to the school board explaining his recommendation for backing the G&G bid. In the letter Burke said the other three vendors – ProMaxima, Advantage and Fitness Lifestyles – offered equipment that was rated light commercial.
Light commercial-rated equipment is typically for home usage. Gyms and health clubs, where usage is heavy, typically go with heavy commercial equipment. The G&G Fitness equipment, a line known as Life Fitness/Octane Fitness equipment, would endure heavy use and would not need to be repaired or replaced as soon or as frequently as the lighter commercial equipment, Burke said.
“As in many cases, the lowest bid is not the best product,” Burke wrote.
Aside from students and sports teams that use the Lockport High School fitness center, the facility is open to the community from November until April, four days a week. When Burke pitched the idea of opening the center to the school board in September 2012, he advocated upgrading the equipment that same night.
ProMaxima is based in Texas, Advantage in Ithaca and Fitness Lifestyles in New Jersey, raising the question of how the machines would be serviced, Burke said.
The district’s facilities committee decided on Oct. 3 to back Burke’s request and make the recommendation to the Board of Education.
The current fitness equipment was bought using money from the Carol M. White Physical Education for Progress grant. Lockport was awarded the White grant in 2007, bringing the district a total of $600,000 over three years for physical education improvements. Officials have wanted to upgrade the equipment for a while and Burke officially made a request in June.
The fitness center, located in the back of the Lincoln Avenue school, was one of the major additions from the $23.5 million improvement project approved by voters in 2008 and completed in 2011.
Contact reporterJoe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.