Last spring, Union opened a bouldering wall in the Don Love Building atrium that drew massive crowds on its first day. The attraction’s popularity has continued, and administration plans to open more climbing amenities to meet the excess demand.
“I want to go climb for a study break, and the lines are just crazy,” says junior education major Bull Deralday. “Sometimes I wait thirty minutes, and then they tell me to go online to reserve a time for the next day!”
Indeed, trying to access the bouldering wall is very difficult considering its campus-wide popularity. Hopeful climbers create Black Friday-style lines in front of the cave waiting for it to open, and on occasion Campus Security has been called in to crack down on rampant line-cutting and violent fights over “who got there first.”
In response to a flood of angry emails demanding a solution, the president’s office has pledged to build more bouldering caves and rock walls across campus. Funding for these projects will come from the money originally set aside for a new Larson Lifestyle Center.
“The LLC remodeling was considered a priority, but the student body has declared otherwise,” Union said in a statement.
After a lengthy committee meeting, it was decided that four new locations will open: the Prescott Hall elevator will be torn out and replaced with a rock wall, as will three Rees Hall staircases. Hand and foot holds will be attached to the clocktower. Finally, the Mac Lab will be converted into a bouldering cave.
Projects are slated for completion by 2057.
Max Bromme is a sophomore studying business administration.