MEAC strong heading into school year

Manchester Educational and Activity Center Coordinator Jacie Simon might call August the “calm before the storm” as the fitness facility prepares for the upcoming school year.

Still, despite the summer lull of no classes, member figures of the fitness facility are still strong according to Simon. The MEAC currently has 141 Manchester residents, 80 non-Manchester residents and 45 MLSD employees with active memberships. Since its opening the facility has peaked with 300 active memberships. Still, Simon is “more than happy” with current figures.

“We had 1,023 check-ins from MLSD students in the month of June and we normally get around 2,000 during school time,” Simon said.

Simon said she’s very pleased with the quality of the facilities she oversees, calling it all “top of the line.”

“We do have luxurious equipment in the cardio and weight training room,” Simon said. “But the gymnasium and three lane track have been a big hit too. I think the kids are most excited about the gym. I can’t believe how many pick up games of basketball they play – eight or 10 every night.”

The only thing Simon could think of in terms of significant improvement within the facility is a partnership with Silver Sneakers, a health benefit through Medicare that pays membership fees for seniors. Currently the Adams County Regional Medical Center and YMCA in Maysville accept Silver Sneakers, but a partnership with the MEAC is not yet available.

“We’ve had customers call in to see if we’re with Silver Sneakers and we have to tell them no,” Simon said. “So that is something that would be a nice perk to offer to the older generation.”

New machines and classes are on the horizon for the MEAC in the next couple of weeks for members. Those upgrades include more resistance bands and a new preacher curl bench.

“We have a few new pieces that will be coming in on the weight training side in the next couple of weeks,” Simon said. “We’re going to have to redesign the layout to accommodate a few more accessories in the accessory corner.”

Hip hop cardio was the first class offered by the MEAC, which will continue again in September, and now a second class, kickboxing, will also be offered starting next month.

“We’re going to take the month of August off from classes just so everyone gets back into the school routine,” Simon said. “I just went through the [kickboxing] workout last Friday and I am still sore. Let’s just say I haven’t been able to run since that workout.”

Simon says rentals of the facilities have remained strong as well since the MEAC opened with families renting out the space for parties and get-togethers. A multi-purpose room and half of the gymnasium can be rented out for $15/hour each – with members receiving a 25 percent discount.

“We average about three rental reservations per month,” Simon said. “It’s neat to see the kids and family and they’re able to have their birthday party room and then come out and shoot hoops or play volleyball. It’s a safe environment too because you know where your kids are. We drop the curtain at the gym and give them half the court.

The Manchester Beta Club will also begin hosting a family fun night free for families at the MEAC the final Saturday of every month beginning Aug. 29. Simon says the MEAC also plans to begin bringing in a massage therapist twice a month to give free 10-minute sessions to members before of after their workout.

While you might see a few members of the Manchester Greyhound football team, Simon says the team doesn’t work-out there as a team and you won’t be at the mercy of 40 football players taking up the gym while you try to work out.

“[The athletic teams] still go up to the mezzanine level at the school and use the free weights up there, but a few come down here to get a few reps in after practice,” Simon said. “That was something that we discussed with the school board whether we wanted this to be a space for the football teams and any athletic programs but we felt they might come in here and potentially deter any of our customers.”

Reach Charles Grove at 937-544-2391, cgrove@civitasmedia.com or @WUDefender on Twitter.

The gymnasium inside the MEAC.
https://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_IMG_7920.jpgThe gymnasium inside the MEAC. Charles Grove | People’s Defender

The cardio equipment featured at the MEAC.
https://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_IMG_7922.jpgThe cardio equipment featured at the MEAC. Charles Grove | People’s Defender

By Charles Grove

cgrove@civitasmedia.com