Edgemont YMCA flexes muscles, community bonds with gym upgrade

Photo courtesy Kelsey Trotter

Set up by a team of volunteers, 10 workout machines donated by SDSMT to the Edgemont YMCA Gym boast many upgrades to the previous gym equipment. 


By Garland Wright

EDGEMONT – Edgemont YMCA has recently undergone a remarkable transformation with a substantial upgrade to its gym equipment, thanks to a generous donation from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT). This revitalization project enhances the facilities and results from a collaborative effort involving multiple individuals and organizations.

The $45,000 gym equipment upgrade was made possible through the SDSMT contribution of 10 pieces of state-of-the-art Pro Max equipment. While these pieces might have been considered old for the SDSMT’s intended use, they are a significant improvement for the Edgemont YMCA. Notably, the new equipment is more user-friendly, featuring weight stacks instead of traditional free weights, making workouts safer and more accessible for gym-goers.

The gym revitalization journey began when SDSMT’s Wellness Coordinator, Becky Javinar, reached out to the Rapid City YMCA, exploring opportunities for repurposing gym equipment that was no longer needed due to remodeling efforts.

Javinar, who had previously been involved with the Rapid City YMCA, had a unique perspective on the Edgemont branch’s needs. Recognizing the potential for positive change, Javinar seized the chance to facilitate this upgrade in her new role as Wellness Coordinator with SDSMT.

The first step was securing the equipment, followed by the challenge of removing the old equipment from the Edgemont School’s High School Gym basement. This cooperative effort extended to the broader community, with local businesses and organizations contributing their resources and expertise. 

Barker Concrete generously provided a flatbed truck for transporting the equipment, with Fall River Fair Board offering a safe parking space overnight. Rancher’s Feed lent their forklift for unloading the trailer, and Mark Jones of Trotter Trucking played a crucial role in transportation.

A team of 12 volunteers invested over three hours in dismantling the old equipment, transporting it, and reassembling it to fit through the gym’s entryway. This meticulous process was necessary due to the space limitations of the doorway, ultimately requiring each piece of equipment to be dismantled and reassembled each time it was carried through.

Jason Long, Edgemont School’s Physical Education teacher, took charge of planning the new gym layout to optimize the use of the upgraded equipment. The layout design focuses on providing gym-goers with a comprehensive and well-organized full-body workout experience.

The volunteers’ efforts were pivotal in bringing this project to fruition. Tasks ranged from equipment transportation and lending tools to cleaning, organizing, and setting up the new gym. The volunteers included Nathan Trotter, David Brown, Justin Brown, Caleb and Dakotah Brown, Thad Brown, Josiah and Jessica Brown, Caitlin Hodnefield, Andrew Brown, Benjamin Brown, Mark and Deanne Brown, Kyle Kaiser, Mark and Jerusha Jones, Menzo and Linda Baird, and Joe and Pauline Trotter.

“It was a community effort to make it all happen. I hope that it will increase our membership once we get people in there to see it and word of mouth travels about how the equipment has improved from what it was before. Also, I hope it helps the Edgemont student-athletes as we share a partnership with them. It’s beneficial to us to have a place to house the YMCA gym, and it is beneficial to the students to have access to new gym equipment,” states Director Kelsey Trotter. 

The Edgemont YMCA gym, now equipped with its new (to them) state-of-the-art Pro Max equipment, is open on specific days of the week, providing the community with ample opportunities for wellness and fitness. Those interested in joining the Edgemont YMCA can contact Director Kelsey Trotter via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 605-662-7999.

Fall River County Herald Star

EDGEMONT OFFICE: 410 2nd Avenue   Edgemont, SD 57735-0660 | 605.662.7201
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