Community members and dignitaries joined Lyle’s secondary students on December 15, 2017 to dedicate the school’s new weight room, officially commemorating it as the George Cooper Health and Fitness Center.
The weight room is a free-standing metal building adjacent to the school’s shop building. It was built beginning in the fall of 2016, when 1958 alumnus George Cooper located a steel building and made a down payment on it on behalf of the district.
Prior to that, weight-lifting equipment was housed in a room of the Lyle Secondary School. Faced with declining enrollment in fall, 2016, the school board merged Dallesport Elementary with the Lyle Secondary School on the Lyle campus. The move better utilized both space and staff resources, and decreased the duplicate expenses of two campuses.
However, the merger left student-athletes without a place to store and use weight-lifting equipment, an important aspect of physical conditioning and reducing athletic injuries. Vernon Bruni, who was the school’s health education teacher at the time, envisioned developing a separate building for the weight training equipment, and Cooper quickly became his best ally.
Cooper not only picked up equipment donated to the program, he also contributed financial backing to help finish the building. A school committee overwhelmingly voted to name the new facility for Cooper.
Lyle School District is grateful to George Cooper and to other community members and organizations who contributed either finances or equipment and labor to the new facility:
- BNSF Railway
- Brandon Hawkins
- Diane Howard and Dallesport Mini Storage
- Imperial Building LLC
- Lyle High School Alumni Association
- Lyle Lions Club
- Rapid Ready Mix Co.
- Mike Schultz Concrete Pumping
- Northwest Farm Credit Services
- Lyle Schools Maintenance and Custodial Staff
- Lyle/Wishram/Klickitat Football Teams of 2016 and 2017
- Lyle High School Students