Northwest NEWS

December 14, 1998

Front Page

Chief Kanim will share community fitness center

by Lisa Allen, Valley View Editor

   FALL CITY--After this month, there will be no excuse for those who insist they can't exercise off those holiday pounds because it's raining outside. Come January, they will be able to grab their gym bag and head off to a new fitness center located at Chief Kanim Middle School.

   And when those who use it are able to lose those pounds and get in shape, they can thank Assistant Principal Kirk Dunckel, who for seven years never gave up his dream of an exercise facility available to both students and the community.

   Dunckel came to Chief Kanim seven years ago as a PE teacher, moving up to assistant principal two years ago. And for all that time, he has been eyeing a room adjacent to the gym as a possible place for the center. The room is currently filled with old stair climbers and stationary bicycles that are used by students, but have passed their useful lifespans.

   After Dunckel got the go-ahead recently from the school board, plus some funding, he was able to plan out the new facility. The old equipment will soon be going into storage, and in the meantime, electrical outlets, mirrors, and TVs are being installed. And Dunckel himself will be laying the carpet before the new equipment arrives.

   But he isn't working alone. PE teacher Joyce Kjorsvik has been actively helping Dunckel with the process and last week was busy coordinating the remodel of the center.

   What makes this facility so different from others is the fact that it is the only one in the state where students and the community will be sharing it, Dunckel said. Start-up funds came from Coca Cola Beverage Co. and local businessman Tom Bernard. The desk area was paid for by a PTSA grant.

   Funding for equipment lease and salaries for employees will come from membership fees from the community. Currently 150 people have expressed interest in the center, Dunckel said. "The response has been overwhelming," he said.

   Students will use the facility during school hours and it will be available to the community from 5-9 p.m. Monday-Friday and four hours on Saturday and Sunday.

   Certified staff will assess all users on body composition, flexibility, muscle strength, and cardiovascular endurance. The center will offer a twelve-station Body Master weight training circuit, three treadmills, two eliptical trainers, two stairsteppers, and five stationary bikes.

   Dunckel said users will have have their progress tracked on computers so they can continue to assess their health and well-being.

   Those interested in memberships should call 425-831-8229 for more information. Dunckel said the center is also looking for a Fitness Club Coordinator and anyone interested may call 425-831-8000.