'The kids are going to love this': Destin High getting pumped about new weight room

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

Destin High School is getting pumped, literally.  

The Destin High Sharks now have their own weight room, stocked with Hammer Strength Life Fitness equipment. 

The weight room, jammed,packed with equipment, “is for every sport and for the physical education curriculum, because we do teach weight lifting here,” Destin High Athletic Director Phil Dorn said. 

“So we’ll have physical education using it through the day and sports mostly after school. It will be a combination of using the room for academics and athletics,” Dorn said. 

A crew from Life Fitness were on hand for installation of the new equipment for the weight room at Destin High earlier this week.

The room has seven half racks, which will allow student-athletes to use both sides of the rack at the same time. 

The facility will feature equipment that allows athletes to isolate specific body parts or will be good if they are recovering from an injury. And there are two full racks of dumbbells.  

“So, we have a lot of variety of equipment, which will allow for more complete training and development of the athlete,” Dorn said. 

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The Hammer Strength Life Fitness equipment is “top of the line. It’s what you’d consider industrial strength and can take a lot of use over time. If you take good care of it, it will last us over 30 years,” Dorn said. 

“It can take a beating,” said T. Brown of Life Fitness, who was installing the equipment Wednesday.  

T. Brown, left, of Life Fitness talks with Destin Athletic Director Phil Dorn about the durability of the equipment.

“It will hold its value … the kids are going to love this,” Brown said. 

The equipment being installed is the same as what they have at the University of Miami, except for the height of the equipment. Brown said they have 12-foot post at Miami and at Destin High the equipment stands 10 feet. 

The company began delivering the equipment on Monday and installation was Tuesday and Wednesday. 

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“We will do weight room orientation with all of our teams and all of our classes, before we start full use,” Dorn said, noting they hope to start Friday. 

The flooring for the weight room is Infinity flooring and is 1¼ inches thick. “It’s hard to destroy it or tear up,” Dorn said. 

The new weight room sports the name of the Destin Sharks on the equipment as well as on the wall.

“We’re excited about the quality of the equipment and the quality of the flooring and the use we’re going to be able to get out of it,” Dorn said. 

How was the school able to make the weight room a reality? 

Local businessman Tripp Tolbert made a $1 million donation to the school last year. The money is to be paid out in installments over five years. However, the first installment, at his request, was for improving and getting facilities for athletics, Dorn said.

“By him making the donation, we were able to get it completed,” Dorn said of the weight room. 

The cost of the flooring was $49,800 and the equipment $299,000. 

T Brown of Life Fitness moves some of the equipment into place on Wednesday at the high school.

“No doubt,” we’d still be waiting on a weight room without Tolbert’s donation. 

“When I first came, this was the vision to have a quality weight room that would represent our community and be used by large groups of people … physical education,” Dorn said. 

The addition of the building to the high school to house the weight room was $350,000. Dorn said they did have some anonymous donations that help to pay for the building. 

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“Now we have a building that matches our structure … a quality room,” Dorn said. 

Destin High will be able to train safely 35 to 40 students at a time in the new facility. 

“You always want bigger, but we’re thankful and grateful for the space that we have. A room this size for the school is ideal,” Dorn said. 

The installation crew from Life Fitness from left are Denis Lesnjanin, T Brown, Nihad Lesnjanin and Ryan Clark.

Dorn said they hope to have the weight room functional and ready for use starting the week of Feb. 20. 

“We’re grateful for the community and all the people that got behind it and sponsored it. Thankful to our board that approved us having the room … to know that this is something that will provide a great service for our kids,” he said. 

The school plans to offer sports medicine in the future, which will also use the weight room as well.