Cutler-Orosi celebrates new Cardinal fitness center

Cutler Orosi Joint Unified School District unveils new fitness youth center at Orosi High School

The Step-Up Youth Center in Orosi opens with multiple options for workout equipment. (Kenny Goodman)
The Step-Up Youth Center in Orosi opens with multiple options for workout equipment. (Kenny Goodman)
Darren Fraser
Published April 3, 2024  • 
1:00 pm

CUTLER-OROSI – On a sunny afternoon, Cutler Orosi Joint Unified School District (COJUSD) Superintendent Yolanda Valdez led the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new youth fitness center located on the Orosi High School campus.

The March 13 ceremony took place in front of the center. Valdez spoke to the audience from a podium that was flanked by balloons and posters.

“We’re going to have our students move every single day,” Valdez said at the start of the ceremony. “We’re here to develop the longevity and health of all our students.”

She added, “As we celebrate this ribbon cutting, we’re celebrating a brighter future for this community. Children and students who are stronger cognitively.”

Construction on the 4,800 square foot building began eight months ago. COJUSD Facilities and Transportation Director Raffi Soghomonian said the construction was completed quickly because the center is a modular building.

“This is a significant milestone for the community,” Soghomonian said. 

Numerous VIPs were on hand for the ceremony, including Tulare County Board of Supervisor Eddie Valero, who presented Valdez with a certificate.

“This facility will provide students participating in afterschool programming with a dedicated space to prioritize their physical health and well-being, reinforcing our commitment to nurturing the holistic development of our youth,” said Valero.

COJUSD Board of Trustees President Sandy Williams said the center will benefit all students in the district.

“Our children deserve the best we can provide,” said Williams.

COJUSD Expanded Learning Department instructor Angela-Ruiz Alvarez said district funding that was left over from last year made the center possible. At present, the center is only accessible to students. Alvarez said future activities will include the community at large.

“Right now, there are weights and weight machines. But it’s a big space,” she said. “We’re looking to have cardio and Zumba classes.”

She added, “This is something our community needed.”

Soghomonian said the center has both new equipment and used equipment from the high school.

Following the ribbon cutting, Valdez led the audience on a tour of the facility.

Darren Fraser
Reporter