PULLMAN, Wash. An investment of approximately $1 million from Washington State University Athletics will provide students with a short-term solution to maintaining a climbing wall and outdoor recreation center without an increase in student fees.
“It’s important that the students are made whole in this transition, and that would include replacing the current climbing wall with a similar structure,” said WSU Athletic Director Bill Moos.
Demolition of the Hollingbery Fieldhouse Annex, which sits between WSU’s Hollingbery Fieldhouse and Bohler Gym, is scheduled for as early as this winter as part of the campus master plan and progression of scheduled capital projects. That demolition precipitated a series of conversations with students about their needs and desires for future outdoor recreation activities, including construction of a state-of-the-art climbing wall facility.
“WSU students have a long history of highly utilizing the recreation facilities and services on campus and see them as a vital part of their university experience,” said Kathleen Hatch, assistant vice president for Campus Life. “It’s their voice and active participation that ensures the right investments are made and the opportunities continue well beyond their time on the Pullman campus.”
Given the immediacy of demolition, the student-driven University Recreation (UREC) board and university officials are working on both temporary and permanent solutions to provide new homes for programs housed in the annex, including the Outdoor Recreation Center and Rental Shop, climbing wall, WSU Bike Shop, racquetball and squash courts and a large fitness studio.
A temporary structure across the street from the Student Recreation Center (SFC) to house the Outdoor Recreation Center and Bike Shop is being explored as the best option. As part of the future climbing wall facility, some elements are likely to be housed within the SRC.
“This would mean that we might only be a few months without that service, and options to utilize the facility at the University of Idaho are being considered as a short-term measure only,” said Hatch.
While every effort will be made to mitigate the impact to students in the short term, she said, the UREC board sees this opportunity as a catalyst to plan for enhanced state-of-the-art permanent facilities. The board recently approved development this spring of a full master plan for recreation to ensure the best permanent options are considered going forward.