A New Generation of Climbing Walls
School climbing walls have evolved enormously in the past two decades, from the first flat plywood walls built in small home garages or gymnastics facilities, to the advanced design and surface textured walls being built today. Part of that evolution has included incorporating climbing walls into various facility types with different demands, constraints, and goals than the average commercial climbing gym. Rockwerx has been there every step of the way.
As a student at San Diego State University in the late 1980’s, Rockwerx’s owner Cort Gariepy helped design and build one of the first climbing walls at a college or university in the country. Since then, Rockwerx has built dozens of climbing walls at facilities of higher education, providing challenging and exciting new sports opportunities for a growing population of students interested in outdoor recreation, as well as a profound aesthetic and architectural impact on sports recreation facilities.
The Changing Look of Sports and Exercise
Based on industry research, the college-aged youth population constitutes a huge percentage of growth in indoor rock climbing. Young kids are being introduced to climbing at commercial climbing gyms and recreation centers, and quickly become ardent climbers interested in continuing their passion for sports adventure into higher education. Increasingly, universities have begun climbing leagues and clubs, worked together to create inter-collegiate competitive climbing series, and begun incorporating rock climbing into sports elective curriculums. A climbing wall can be a great draw for prospective students at your college or university program, and also introduce new youth into the sport who then may become participants in outdoor adventure and recreation programs as well.
Meeting the Standards
The expectations students and participants have for their recreational options have greatly increased since the construction of the first climbing walls, and with them the standards for a facility to compete have been raised as well.
Not only will your wall be appealing and exciting to climbers, but simply as an aesthetic structure, it may alone prove to be an excellent marketing tool for your new or updated recreational facility. Rockwerx will work with your architects and administrators to create a design that makes functional use of space as well as generates the invaluable “awe” factor. With either the Gym Rock or Natural Rock elements, a climbing wall will enhance your facility and provide excellent opportunities for students to be introduced to, or advance in, the sport of climbing.
In terms of technical standards, you can feel comfortable knowing that Rockwerx’s design and construction meet or often exceed the guidelines established by the Climbing Wall Association and our company is always at the forefront of current regulation in the industry. Check out some of our college and university projects here.
The following is a partial list of universities where we have provided design / construction services:
- US Naval Academy (Annapolis, MD)
- University of Oregon (Eugene, Oregon) addition
- Chapman University (Irwindale, CA)
- Bowdoin College (Brunswick, ME)
- Southwestern Michigan College (Dowagiac, MI)
- UCLA (Los Angeles, CA)
- San Diego State Univ (San Diego, CA)
- University of Montana (Missoula, MT)
- Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX)
- Univ of Nevada, Reno (Reno, NV)
- Univ of Cal at Irvine (Irvine, CA)
- University of Denver (Denver, CO)
- University of Wisconsin (La Croix, WI)
- Univ of No. Colorado (Greeley, CO)
- Univ of NY at Potsdam (Potsdam, NY)
- Fort Lewis College (Durango, CO)
- University of Maine (Orono, ME)
- Landmark College (Putney, VT)
- St. Lawrence University (Canton, NY)
- San Juan College (New Mexico)
- University of Alaska (Anchorage, AK)
- Bowling Green State (Bowling Green, OH)
- Westfield State University (Westfield, MA)
- Boise State University (Boise, ID)
- Boston University (Boston, MA)
- University of Puerto Rico
- University of Maine at Presque Isle-Presque Isle, ME
- Unity College - Unity, Me
- California State University at Humboldt-Humboldt, CA
- Indiana University
- Trent University
- Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) -Worcester, MA