February 21st, 2010 by Al Lewis (alewis)

Congressional candidate Joe Malone, running as a Republican in the 10th CD in Massachusetts, is guest-posting a great idea proposing what can be done with school gyms when not in use.  Why not subcontract them to health clubs to sell memberships for evenings and weekends?   The times when kids are not using the gyms are exactly the times when the majority of adults would want to:  early mornings, evenings and weekends.


This proposal would raise money for school districts and provide jobs and inexpensive access to fitness, but Joe’s big insight is that part of the arrangement with the health clubs is that the kids be allowed to use the gyms free during these hours and school vacations. 

This arrangement would give kids something to do just when their parents most want them to be doing something (especially during vacations, which are anything but for most parents), and would be a healthy alternative to watching TV or playing video games.  Also, sedentary behaviors lead to obesity, and many schools are in districts that don’t have many fitness options other than at the schools themselves.


Finally, the health clubs that are subcontracting the space are likely to want to upgrade the equipment in the gym too, in order to attract more members, which in turn makes the facilities more attractive to the kids and more of an asset to the school districts.


ThinkOOB normally does not endorse candidates (especially at 5:52 AM on a Sunday morning) but we are going to make an exception here and throw our considerable weight behind Joe Malone’s candidacy.  Great outside-the-box idea, Joe!

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  1. greg Says:

    totally great idea. Hey, Al, I thoght you were a Democrat

  2. harvardeconomist Says:

    The constraining factor here might be logistics of what hours are open and closed and how to convey that to members but what a great idea for “recycling” downtime.

  3. yeahright Says:

    I don’t think you hvae been in a school gym in a long time. they are nowehre near up to spec for a health club

  4. 10thcd Says:

    at least malone is trying while delahunt ducks questions about bishop. and i think the operators of the clubs would bring them up to spec

  5. meninoisanidiot Says:

    why not also do this with parking in urban schools? Charge residetns to park overnight (and on weekends) in school parking lots that are only used dring the day?

  6. soxfan Says:

    best post since the one about teams scalping their own tickets. no reason this can’t be done. maybe in some places they won’t be able to find a sponsor but I think they can in most places

  7. carljr Says:

    they already do this stuff for their auditoriums, rent them out on weekends for events and stuff. no reason at all they cant do it for gyms

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