Award brings fitness center to school on Tucson's south side

Award brings fitness center to school on Tucson's south side

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - It's a summertime surprise that's sure to have the community spending more time at Hollinger K-8 on Tucson's south side.

The school, part of the Tucson Unified School District, is one of three winners to receive a Don't Quit! Fitness Center, according to Governor Doug Ducey's office.

The proposal was submitted the week after school ended for the summer, so Principal Brian Lambert said he was surprised to hear the good news so soon.

"We all crossed our fingers and hoped for the best," he said. "We have the most incredible community and they deserve the best."

The fitness center will be on the school's campus, but have it's own entrance in order to prioritize safety for students. Parents and the rest of the community will be able to access the facility.

"I'm over the moon," said PE teacher Lesley Cook. "We have kids that want to be active and they would like to see their families being active too...What a great way to bring our families together and our community too."

Public/private partnerships with companies cover the approximately $100,000 cost of the center, so it does not rely on taxpayer dollars, according to the news release. Equipment is provided for free by TuffStuff Fitness International.

Jansen Azarias, founder of Higher Ground, a supportive organization that works with schools like Hollinger K-8, said the fitness center will be a terrific center piece for the community. He said it'll provide a safe, reliable meeting place for parents interested in becoming more involved with the school and surrounding community.

"Reaching out to the families and the parents was something that we've always wanted to do but haven't always had the resources to do," he said.

The National Foundation for Governors' Fitness Councils joined Ducey's officer in making the announcement Monday. The center is scheduled to be opened after a ribbon cutting in the fall.

Copyright 2016 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.