By Sierra Baumbach
After administrators recognized that over 50 percent of the plywood and concrete frame was stripped from the constant rearrangement of rock holds plans to rebuild the the 13-year-old structure were put into action along with a new design that will fit updated safety requirements.
“There are so many people that don’t know about the safety standards,” said Kim Scott, director of campus recreation. “One of the things I am proudest of is that in 13 years, we have had only one injury where a student had to get stitches, and by maintaining safety standards, we hope to maintain that number.”
With the two-year inspection date looming over their heads, administrators had to act quickly on the plan to rebuild.
“We have an estimation of about three to four weeks for the demolition and then after they will clean up, the construction crew can come in and begin rebuilding from the slab up,” Scott said.
The new wall will have two parts. The free-standing rock wall will be a solid rock that features both a real rock side, made to imitate real mountain climbing, and a side that will feature man made rocks that will be similar to the previous wall. Apart from the freestanding wall, the new design will also incorporate bouldering space along the café wall.The free-standing rock wall will stand at 52 feet, earning the title of “tallest free-standing collegiate rock wall.”
“The renovation is bittersweet,” said Hewitt senior Sarah Groman, president of the Rock Climbing Club. “The new design will be beneficial to those who are advanced as well as beginners. There are a couple of different styles, where the old one only had one style. It will be good to be able to practice on such a versatile space.”
Pictures of the upcoming changes are currently being showcased in the SLC, where students may go to get a sneak peek of the future rock wall. Complete renovation details are not yet available, but the construction is set to be finished in late April, just in time for Diadeloso.