Bouldering wall in Rec to open early summer following multiple delays

The bouldering wall was initially planned to be open after spring break, according to a Feb. 7 Oracle article. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/JASON GOSCH

After many delays, assistant director of outdoor recreation Jason Gosch said the planned bouldering wall addition in the Recreation and Wellness Center is now expected to open in early summer.

The delays are mainly due to aligning schedules with the installation teams that have pushed this project back, according to Gosch.

“Construction issues with the primary contractor have continually delayed the project. At the moment, aligning the architect, general contractor and installation teams is the challenge,” he said.

Though the bouldering wall was expected to open as soon as early November or spring semester at the latest, delays related to lack of funding and the effects of COVID-19 pushed this projection into the summer semester, according to a Sept. 25 Oracle article.

Gosch said that this is a complicated project with many people and steps involved. Converting the old racquetball court into the new wall has been more of a challenge than the team anticipated, according to Gosch.

He said the main concern at the moment is the “drop ceiling” in the racquetball court, which is in the way of some support beams that need to be installed. The support beams are a necessary part to hold the wall up, but the general contractor and architect are working out a solution, according to Gosch.

Funding from Student Government along with Recreation & Wellness helped kickstart this project, Gosch said. The original cost for the construction of the wall was estimated at around $150,000 in September, according to a Sept. 25 Oracle article.

Since there have been several delays, costs have escalated over time causing additional funding to be needed, according to Gosch. No details on the amount of added cost were disclosed at the time of the interview.

Sophomore industrial engineering major Michael Brennan said he is disappointed that the delays have taken this long since he goes to the gym regularly, but he is still eager to see it when it’s done.

“I was so excited about having a rock wall up in the Rec, but I am disappointed about the delays, and I hope it will be done soon,” he said.

The bouldering wall will be open the same hours as the Rec center at 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. throughout the week. The center closes on Fridays at 8:30 p.m. and operates from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the weekends. There will be no appointments necessary to climb.

There will also be educational marketing once the wall is up and open so people can learn how to use the wall safely while having fun, according to Gosch. Students will have the option to rent climbing shoes through the rental room inside the Rec center.

“We are hopeful that the bouldering wall will be installed this summer, but previous delays have pushed back the timeline many times. Unfortunately, projects sometimes experience these types of delays when issues arise,” Gosch said.