C.M. Eppes cuts ribbon on new state-of-the-art fitness center


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — In August of 2020, C.M. Eppes Middle School had its roof ripped off by Hurricane Isaias.

“We lost our media center, seventh-grade and eighth-grade hallways from the storm,” said Tricia Hurt, health and physical education teacher. “Right as we were starting school in the middle of a pandemic, we were trying to do all of that and we had half of the school left.”

That’s what motivated Hurt to apply for the grant which funded the school’s new fitness center. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Monday afternoon at the school for the $100,000 facility.

“We applied, we took a shot and in May we found out we won,” Hurt said. “We are one of three schools in North Carolina out of about 124 is what Jake said.”

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Body by Jake workout icon, Jake Steinfeld, and Gov. Roy Cooper chose the school to receive the $100,000 “Don’t Quit” fitness center.

“I personally have been going through injuries and having to rehab, this will help a lot with the process of getting stronger,” said C.M. Eppes student Campbell Rhodes.

The new facility will help the students in multiple areas.

“For them to have this equipment at such a young age is just going to build so many good, healthy habits,” Hurt said. “Physically, they’re going to get fit. They’re going to get stronger. They’re going to see their body change. It’s going to increase their confidence. Socially as well, they work out with a partner, team or class. I hope this will be life-changing for them.”

For many students and faculty, it’s still a shock this state of the art facility is on their campus.

“Usually you think something like this would never happen, but it happened,” said Isaiah Wilson, also a student.

It’s something the school will take pride in.

“We had a building full of damage and now we have more construction on-site, but this is something students can use every single day and really and truly be proud of,” said Hurt. “It’s something no other middle school in the county has and that’s really exciting.”

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