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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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U. adds climbing wall to SRC

University students looking for a new challenge in their workout schedules will find one next semester at the Student Recreational Center.

A 1600 square foot climbing wall, currently being assembled in the game room, will be available for SRC patron use by the beginning of spring semester.

The wall, which will be built to look like a small mountain, is going to be 34 feet tall at its highest point and 27 feet tall at its lowest peak. Students will climb it through the aid of a harness and belayer, or person who stands at the bottom holding the climbing rope.

“It’s going to provide people the opportunity to challenge themselves in different ways,”said Bryan Cavins, assistant director of outdoor programs. “It gives you a mental challenge and a physical challenge because it is intimidating.”

According to Cavins, a climbing wall such as the one the University will have works out just about every muscle in the body and can serve as a near complete workout for someone.

Although the wall will be strenuous to climb, Cavins said it will cater to all levels of climbing expertise. The walls handles will also be moved around on a weekly basis in order to change climbing patterns.

“You don’t want people to say ‘I’ve done that, it’s done with,'” he said.

Eventually Cavins said he hopes to have the wall available for student organization use as a form of team and trust building. He said he also wants to incorporate the wall in future physical education classes.

“Hopefully next fall or spring we’ll have an intro to rock climbing class or different advancements like leap climbing,” Cavins said.

The climbing wall will most likely be available for regular use during the afternoon and evening hours that the SRC is open, Cavins said. However, people can not use the wall until they are belay-certified through SRC.

Cavins said the certification process would involved a one to two hour class on rock climbing followed by a test, and the card would have to be renewed each semester.

The University is following the lead of other area colleges that have installed climbing walls into there recreational centers, including the University of Toledo, Ohio University, Miami University and Kent State University. Cavins said, the wall helps the University compete with the others.

“At Ohio University, the wall is the centerpiece of their rec center,” he said. “People are finding that climbing walls can be a recruiting piece.”

According to Larry Spencer, associate director of the SRC, the new wall will provide SRC with new programming opportunities.

“We put it up primarily to give us another programming option,” he said.

Among the new programs will be SRC sponsored rock/mountain climbing trips in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

“Once we get a core group of students, we’re going to plan a trip for the summer or fall,” Cavins said.

Along with the new wall, the SRC will also have air conditioning once the weather warms up next spring and has recently installed windows along the indoor track. Beyond that, Spencer said, other updates could be made to workout equipment, but he is not hoping for too much.

“There’s lots of things we’d like,” he said. “We’ve been very fortunate to get what we have. We don’t want to be too greedy.”

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