When he joined the Katonah Lewisboro school district three years ago, Christian McCarthy had a plan.
"We're on a three-year plan to create an atmosphere of choice here," said McCarthy, the district's director of health, physical education, athletics and wellness, in a 2009 Patch interview.
His goal was to create a health-club environment within the school and offer physical education choices beyond traditional sports units, like spin, yoga, kickboxing and pilates.
With support from the district's booster club, MCarthy has succeeded in renovating the fitness faciliites which now include a weight training circuit, Olympic lifts and space for supervised core training exercises. In addition, the health room has been transformed into a multipurpose studio with folding chairs with flip-top desks that can be used for health lectures and stored during exercise classes.
The latest gift from the booster club, a donation of $40,849 approved at the Feb. 9 board of education meeting, provides funds for three new 55-inch flat screen high definition TVs, custom flooring and several new fitness machines.
McCarthy said the gym has become a great atmosphere for all students.
"We have our PE classes utilizing the space throughout the day and a large amount of students everyday after school," he said.
And he's achieved some of the goals he set out three years ago.
"For the first time we have more non-athletes than athletes using the fitness center after school. We are hopeful that this trend will continue to grow," said McCarthy.
One goal that has not been possible to achieve was his idea to open up the sports field and make some freshman and junior varsity team rosters open to all interested students without any team cuts. But budgetary constraints have not made that possible, he said.